Five turning points that led India to victory

Updated: Mar 31, 2011, 12:25 PM IST

Zeecric Bureau

India is one win away from lifting the World Cup after the epic win against Pakistan on Wednesday. Here are the turning points that led India to victory.

Sehwag’s blitzkriegs

The first fifteen overs proved crucial in the tie as it was India’s 99/1 compared to Pakistan’s 70/1 made the difference in the end.

Pakistan openers were unable to score the way Sehwag did in his 25-ball 38, which allowed India score 99 in the first 15 overs. The difference of 29 in the first fifteen overs cost Pakistan the match as both the teams scored the same number of runs from the remaining 35 overs.

Dhoni won the toss but misread the pitch

Dhoni brought in Ashish Nehra in place of Ashwin hoping the pitch would help the seamers, a decision which was criticized by many. Dhoni and Sachin later admitted the pitch was lot more different from the usual Mohali track. Tendulkar said the wicket slowed down a bit in the later stages which made the scoring difficult.

“We just had to make sure we got to a decent, fighting total. When we started I was thinking of 310 to 315, which was par score for me, but the way the ball started stopping and spinning, something closer to 265-270 was par,” he said.

But the unexpected behavior of the pitch ensured that Indian bowlers were very disciplined and gave way just 3 extras as against 15 by the Pakistanis.

Pakistan’s dropped catches

Sachin, who is chasing a record 100 international centuries, was dropped four times by Pak fielders on his way to scoring 86. He was dropped on 27, 45, 70 and 81. The steady innings helped India post a fighting total of 260. Dhoni was also dropped by Kamran Akmal.

India’s bowling and fielding

It was such disciplined work in the field that India did not concede an extra till the 38th over. The impressive fielding display by the Indians made the difference.

The decision to leave out Ashwin for Nehra was a result of a miscalculation but the in the end the bowlers bowled with discipline, with Nehra justifying his selection. He bowled to a plan, wicket-to-wicket, to net two important wickets and also end up as the most economical of Indian speedsters.

Yuvraj`s 2 wickets for 3 runs and Umar Akmal’s dismissal by Harbhajan Singh were crucial too.

Misbah’s “plan”

Misbah-ul-Haq’s batting sealed the win for India as the slow pace while scoring (56 off 76 balls) ensured the asking rate rising. Overall, Misbah played out 42 dot balls, which was the most among Pakistan`s batsmen. In his first 42 balls, he scored only 17 and played 27 dots.

Also, the batting powerplay was taken at a wrong time by Pakistan, from 46th over, as they lost lost 2 wickets and could score only 30 runs.