For Indian skipper M S Dhoni and millions of cricket fans it was a dream come true. Dhoni could find his form when needed most in the crucial 2011 World Cup finals to silence his critics as he played a captain`s innings of 91 not out, and guided his team to an emphatic six wicket victory over Sri Lanka at the jampacked Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.
Dhoni`s 95 included eight fours and two towering sixes, one of them right at 48.2 overs to register India’s win in style, off Nuwan Kulasekara. Yuvraj and Dhoni finished off the match with a quick fire partnership of 54 runs off 42 balls. Earlier, Gautam Ghambir and Dhoni were involved in a century partnership for the four wicket before the former fell three short of a well-deserved century, going for an unnecessary cross-batted shot of Thisara Parera and getting clean bowled.
They together put on 109 for the fourth wicket with Ghambir scoring a useful 97 off 122 balls with 9 fours. Gambhir completed 4,000 runs in ODIs and Dhoni 6,000 in the course of their respective innings.
After losing both their openers – Sehwag (very first ball of Mallenga lbw) and Sachin Tendulkar (18), Gambhir and Virat Kohli added 83 runs. Sachin Tendulkar, who had looked in excellent touch, was brilliantly caught by Kumar Sangakkara, again off Malinga, playing a loose shot outside the off stump. Tendulkar scored 18 off 14 balls.
On winning the toss, Sri Lanka opted to bat but struggled against Indian bowlers and lost wickets at regular intervals earlier, It was only Mahela Jayawardene who scored a composed century to salvage the innings for his team set a target of 275. For India, it is the first nation to win the World Cup on home soil.
The 1996 champions Sri Lanka made an uncharacteristically sluggish start after winning the toss, the top three misfiring for once in the tournament, against a disciplined and energetic Indian attack. Zaheer Khan didn`t concede a run in his first three overs and took a vital early wicket to put the Sri Lankans on the back foot, but was expensive toward the end when Jayawardene brought up his century with consecutive boundaries in the 48th over. Sri Lanka reached 274-6 in 50 overs, with Thisara Perera pulling Zaheer for six on the final ball to finish unbeaten on 21 from nine balls.
With this victory, India not only won the World after 28 years, but also top the table in rankings. India is the only nation which holds two trophies in its kitty – the T-20 as well ICC 2011 World Cup. For Indian fans, though India lifted the 2011 World Cup, they were disappointed as Sachin Tendulkar, failed to accomplish his dream century to complete 100 centuries in both formats of world cricket.