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April 2, 2011: When Dhoni led India to World Cup glory at home

Last updated on: April 02, 2020 11:00 IST
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Mahendra Singh Dhoni

IMAGE: Mahendra Singh Dhoni hits a six to take India to victory against Sri Lanka in the 2011 World Cup final in Mumbai. Photograph: Graham Crouch/Getty Images

It was exactly nine years ago, when Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led India created history as they outclassed Sri Lanka in the final to claim their second ODI World Cup title, ending a long wait of 28 years.

Dhoni hit Kulasekara over long-on for a six to seal a famous victory for India in front of his home fans in a memorable night for Indian cricket fans at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, on April 2, 2011.

India, powered by scintillating knocks from Gautam Gambhir (97) and Dhoni (91 not out), chased down Sri Lanka's total of 274 for 6 in 50 overs to win with ten balls to spare.

 

The victory gave India its second world title -- 28 years after Kapil's Devils scored that famous, albeit unexpected, win in England -- and exorcised the ghosts of the Caribbean debacle in 2007.

It also made up for the disappointment of having come up second best to the all-conquering Australians in the 2003 final.

Hosts India were the clear favourites going into the tournament and they continued their good form in the World Cup, losing just one match -- against South Africa in the group stages.

India's most famous victory came against arch-rivals Pakistan in the semi-final in Mohali after they had got the better of defending champions Australia in the quarters.

India's chase got off to a bad start as they lost Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag cheaply, with just 31 runs on the board.

But Gautam Gambhir and Dhoni stepped up as the duo stitched a match-winning 109-run partnership.

Gambhir narrowly missed his century as he perished for 97, but Dhoni kept his cool as he along with Yuvraj Singh took India to a convincing six-wicket win.

The winning six struck by Dhoni is still viewed as one of the most exciting moments in India's sporting history. As the winning six was hit back over the bowler's, Ravi Shastri, who was doing commentary then, famously remarked, "Dhoni, finishes it off in style, India lifts the World Cup after 28 years".

As soon as the win was achieved, veteran Tendulkar, playing in his sixth World Cup, erupted with joy as his dream of winning the coveted trophy was finally fulfilled.

Earlier this year, Tendulkar's famous lap around the Wankhede Stadium after the 2011 World Cup win, titled 'Carried On the Shoulders Of A Nation', was voted the greatest Laureus Sporting Moment of the last twenty years.

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