Mumbai is supposed to be the busiest city of India, and so are Delhi and Bengaluru (Bangalore) in terms of traffic on the roads and public life. Last Saturday, April 2, 2011 witnessed just the opposite after 2:00 p.m. that day. It was the ICC World Cup final between Sri Lanka and India, which started at 2.30 p.m. and most of the population of India and all across the world were not outside but inside, watching the ultimate match (if not witnessing it in person).
There are many incidents/events during the match that happened in physical or mental form that will stay on in the minds of viewers for years to come.
The first incident that is not too positive is about the two captains and match referee Jeff Crowe from New Zealand. The stadium was jam packed. The fans were roaring slogans and names, etc. in full swing when before the start of the match, the coin had to be tossed to decide about bat and bowl. Indian captian Mahender Singh Dhoni tossed the coin in the air, Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara gave a call, and the coin that fell flat on ground had heads on top. Sangakkara claimed he had won the toss but Dhoni claimed the opposite and Crowe gave an excuse that he was not able to hear at all. The coin was tossed again, and Sangakkara said heads. It was heads after all and the Sri Lankan captain decided to bat first.
Two very prominent players–Muttiah Muralitharan from Sri Lanka and Sachin Tendulkar from India were playing their last World Cup. Both had come on this ground with a dream to win it.
Indian bowling started very well and until the 40th over, it seemed as if Sri Lanka would never be able to cross the 220 mark in its quota of 50 overs. But then came a magical innings of century from Sangakkara that enabled Sri Lanka to put a solid total of 274 runs on the board. It was the highest total chase for any team in the World Cup final.
When Sehwag was out for ducks and Tendulkar for 18, it appeared as if there would be another collapse of Indian batting and that Lanka would win the Cup easily. Gautam Gambhir played superbly and got out at 97. Dhoni upgraded himself in batting order and came before Yuvraj Singh. And this time he did not fail to deliver with his cool temperament and determination. He made 91 runs and finally enabled India to win the World Cup.
Six was the number of that day. Both innings ended with a sixer. Sri Lanka lost six wickets and India won by six wickets.
India became the first team to win the World Cup on their home soil.
Both teams were fighting to win the Cup for their icon player, respectively–Sri Lanka for Muralitharan and India for Tendulkar. It was Tendulkar’s fifth and last World Cup.
Zaheer Khan topped the table of wicket takers jointly with Afridi. Tendulkar fell short by 18 runs to top the highest scorer in World Cup 2011. Yuvraj grabbed the player of the series award, while Dhoni was adjudged as man of the match.
India has toppled Australia to grab the number one position in the ICC ODI ranking. It is already at the number one position in ICC Test ranking.