India played their first match against Bangladesh. The memories of 2007 World Cup were fresh and the Indians were determined to thrash The Tigers. Bangladesh skipper won the toss and chose to field first. Virender Sehwag cleared his intentions by scoring a boundary of the first ball of the World Cup. He played in his usual style and scored 175 runs which was his best ODI score then. Virat Kohli, who had been included in the team in place of Suresh Raina also didn’t disappoint and went on to score his maiden World Cup ton. With two centuries from Sehwag and Kohli (100), India scored a mammoth total of 370 runs.
Tamim Iqbal (70) once again led the attack for his side but failed to score a century which was required to meet India’s huge total. The Tigers tried all they could, but managed to score just 283 runs and fell short of the total.
Result: India won by 87 runs
Man of the Match: Virender Sehwag (175 runs)
India vs England
While the match against Bangladesh was a low key affair, India clashed against England in their second match of the World Cup that turned out to be a riveting tie.
Skipper Dhoni won the toss and decided to bat first. Tendulkar, who opened the innings played brilliantly to score his 47th ODI hundred which was also his 5th in World Cup matches. He got good support from Yuvraj Singh (58) and Gautam Gambhir (51). India posed a challenging total of 338 runs. Chasing the huge total, England skipper Andrew Strauss led from the front and scored his best ODI score (158) before being dismissed by Zaheer Khan. As wickets fell at regular intervals, Graeme Swann scored one run off the final ball of the innings and the match was tied.
Man of the Match: Andrew Strauss (158 runs)
Ireland vs India
In yet another low key affair, India were all set to continue their winning streak in the World Cup. Yuvraj Singh went on to take his maiden 5-wicket haul as the team struggled for runs. Skipper William Porterfield and Neil O’brien shared a 113-run-stand for the third wicket that helped the side cross 200. India lost Sehwag, Tendulkar, Gambhir and Kohli for just 100 runs after which, once again Yuvraj Singh came to the team’s rescue and India achieved the target in 46 overs with 5 wickets in hand.
Result: India won by 5 wickets
Man of the match: Yuvraj Singh (50 runs and 5 wickets)
The Netherlands vs India
Netherlands skipper Peter Borren won the toss and chose to bat. The skipper had mentioned that the players were looking forward to rectify their errors of the previous matches by putting a good show with the bat. The players could not meet the expectations of the skipper as the team was all out for just 189 runs. The players made a careful start and Team India had to wait for 16 overs to taste first blood. Chasing the paltry total, Indians too, at one stage were struggling with the loss of 4 wickets for 99 runs, but in-form batsman Yuvraj Singh made sure that they won the match comfortably without any further hiccups.
Result: India won by 5 wickets
Man of the match: Yuvraj Singh (51 runs and two wickets)
India vs South Africa
It was another high-voltage clash between two of the best teams of world cricket. India won the toss and decided to bat first. The opening pair of Sehwag and Tendulkar scored plenty of runs off the new ball as both Steyn and Morkel leaked too many runs initially. The pair added 142 runs for the first wicket before Sehwag was bowled by F du Plessis. Tendulkar who went on to score his 99th ODI ton also shared another century partnership with Gambhir (69) and India looked set for a mammoth total once the scorecard read 267/1 at the end of 40 overs. But, as a result of sudden collapse, Team India were all out for 296 runs.
Keeping in mind South Africa’s journey in the previous World Cup’s, the score was predicted to be decent. Amla (61) and Kallis (69) made sure that they chased the target after Smith (16) was out early in the innings. With contributions coming from all the batsmen the result was to be decided in the final over of the innings as Proteas required 13 runs to win. With F Du Plessis and Petersen at the crease nobody knew what Peterson had in his mind. The first ball went off his inside edge to the boundary. He smacked the second one at the cow corner for a six. The third which was a Yorker was played for two runs and he score a boundary off the fourth ball by charging down the track as the field came up. This was a super show by the lower order from a team which has been tagged the ‘chokers’ by the cricket experts.
Result: South Africa won by 3 wickets
Man of the Match: Dale Steyn (5 wickets)
India vs West Indies
Winning the toss had become a usual business for Dhoni. India lost Gambhir and Sachin earlier in the innings and thus the disaster management expert, Yuvraj Singh shared a 122-run-partnership with Virat Kohli (59). Yuvraj went on to score his first ton of World Cup 2011 and India managed to score 268 runs at the end of 50 overs. Ravi Rampaul picked up a five wicket haul.
While the top four West Indies batsmen tried their best to make a match of it, it was the humiliating middle order collapse including the wicket of Kireon Pollard (1) that shifted the tide in India’s favour. Devon Smith (81 runs) was the highest scorer as his team mates let him down and West Indies were bundled for just 188 runs. India had booked a berth for the quarter-finals against the mighty Aussies.
Result: India won by 80 runs
Man of the Match: Yuvraj Singh (113 runs and 2 wickets)
Quarter-final: India vs Australia
The memories of the 2003 World Cup were still fresh and the entire country knew that this was the match India had to win, not only to move a step closer to win the World Cup, but also to stop Australia’s World Cup winning streak. Much to the shock of Indian fans, Dhoni lost the toss and Ponting took no time in deciding to bat first keeping in mind India’s inability to win big matches while chasing.
It was revenge time for Zaheer Khan who had leaked 67 runs in 7 overs in 2003 World Cup final. But in these eight years, he had not only become more mature as a cricketer, but also confident. Haddin and Watson added 40 runs for the first wicket and like always, skipper Ponting who had an ordinary World Cup so far had saved his best for the big match. Punter scored 104 runs from 118 balls, not in his usual brutal way, but he for sure led from the front as the Kangaroos struggled to free their hands. Australia managed to score 260 runs with some late hitting by David Hussey (38 from 26) and it was the best chance for the Men in Blue to move to a step closer as the target was achievable.
Sehwag and Tendulkar carefully added 44 runs for the first wicket and even though Punter rotated his bowlers very often but to no avail as the express pace of Lee and Tait also could do no wonders for the Kangaroos. Tendulkar and Gambhir added 50 runs for the second wicket but with some twists and turns, half of the Indian team was back in pavilion for 187 runs as India still needed 74 runs with Yuvraj and Raina at the crease. Yuvraj’s dream run with the bat continued as he scored 57 runs and given the opportunity, Raina too slammed 34 runs from 28 balls ending Australia’s dominance in the World Cup. It was a big moment for Team India and now they were all set to clash against arch-rival Pakistan in a very crucial semi-final fixture.
Result: India won by 5 wickets
Man of the Match: Yuvraj Singh (57 runs and 2 wickets)
Semi-final: India vs Pakistan
Though it was a semi-final encounter, yet for most of the cricket fans, this particular match was ‘the one’ they had been waiting for and it meant the world cup for them.
After Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat, Indian openers Sehwag (38 from 32) and Tendulkar got their team to a brisk start as Sehwag hammered five consecutive boundaries off Umar Gul’s second over. Tendulkar struggled to score 85 runs as he was dropped four times by Pakistan players who had a terrible day at the field. While the middle order failed to perform, some useful contributions from Dhoni (25) and Raina (36) helped India manage a score of 260 runs which was not enough keeping in mind the depth of Pakistan batting line up. Wahab Riaz was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers as he scalped 5 wickets for 46 runs in his quota of 10 overs.
Pakistan openers made sure that the team didn’t suffer any early damage as they scored 44 runs before Kamran Akmal was out on the last ball off the ninth over. Younis Khan disappointed his fans as he took 32 balls to score his 13 runs and never looked comfortable at the crease. With the pressure mounting, Umar Akmal tried to play a cameo (29 from 24 balls) but once he was out, it was a matter of time for the Indian team. The highlight of the match was the Indian bowling attack that clicked as a unit as Zaheer, Nehra, Munaf, Harbhajan and Yuvraj picked up two wickets each.
Result: India won by 29 runs
Man of the Match: Sachin Tendulkar (85 runs)
FINAL-India vs Sri Lanka
In the summit clash, Jayawardene won the toss and decided to bat first. Openers Tharanga and Dilshan could do nothing special as the two veterans Sangakkara and Jayawardene added 60 runs for the third wicket. As wickets fell at regular intervals, Jayawardene remained unperturbed and scored a brilliant century playing his master strokes all across the Wankhede Stadium. Towards the end, Kulasekara (32) and Perera (22 from 9 balls) made sure that they put up a defendable total against the Indians who had done nothing wrong in important matches of the World Cup so far.
Indian innings witnessed a disastrous start as Sehwag was out off the second ball of the innings. A lot was now depending on Tendulkar who had been in good form right through the World Cup. But Malinga once again stunned the Wankhede crowd as Tendulkar was trapped before the wicket of the first ball of the seventh over. Malinga had got his rhythm and the way he was bowling, some television sets were switched off for some time, prayers had begun as in walked Virat Kohli to help his evergreen partner Gautam Gambhir. Both the batsmen scored runs mostly in singles and later punished the loose deliveries. From 31/2, these two added 83 runs for the third wicket which gave back some hopes to the Indian fans; the crowd at the Wankhede came back to normalcy. Kohli (35) was out in the 22nd over as Sri Lanka still had a chance to make a comeback in the match.
This was a very important stage of the match and something unusual happened. Mahendra Singh Dhoni promoted himself over Yuvraj Singh and little did anybody know about the intentions of the man with the midas touch. Gambhir and Dhoni went on to add 109 runs for the fourth wicket as both of them looked comfortable against Malinga who could add no more wickets to his list. The bowlers soon ran out of fuel, Jayawardene ran out of ideas as Dhoni continued to score runs and finally the moment arrived as he hammered Kulasekara’s full length delivery for a six over long on with all his power! The crowd went berserk at Wankhede as India became the only team to have won the World Cup on home soil.
Result: INDIA WERE THE NEW WORLD CHAMPS defeating Sri Lanka by six wickets