Final: India vs Pakistan (India won by 5 runs)India entered the final having the psychological advantage of having defeated Pakistan in the league matches. As expected, Dhoni won the toss and decided to bat first. Yusuf Pathan was sent to open the innings with Gautam Gambhir and the right-hander got India to a quick start as they added 25 runs in 2.4 overs. Pakistan bowlers soon dismissed Robin Uthappa (8) and the dangerous Yuvraj Singh (14) as Gambhir continued to find boundaries at regular intervals.
Gambhir was finally dismissed by Umar Gul of the last ball of the 18th over. India were still in the hunt to cross the 150-run mark as Rohit Sharma played a crucial knock (30 from 16) and Indian innings ended at 157.
RP Singh continued his good show in the tournament as he scalped Mohammad Hafeez in the first over itself. Unfazed with the early loss, Imran Nazir ripped apart Sreesanth in the second over as smoked a flurry of boundaries. RP Singh bowled Kamran Akmal for a duck in the second over as Nazir continued to hit boundaries. He was unfortunately run-out in the sixth over after contributing 33 from 14 balls.
The middle-order batsmen couldn’t do much as Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik and Afridi departed in quick successions. India could smell victory as Pakistan were reduced to 104/7 as they still needed 54 runs from 4 overs. Misbah-ul-Haq who was playing a dull knock suddenly smashed three sixes from Harbhajan Singh’s third over to change the course of the game. Pakistan needed 13 runs from the last over. After doing all the hard work, Misbah attempted a Dilscoop off Joginder Sharma and was caught by Sreesanth as India won the inaugural T20 World Cup.
By Suyash Srivastava
2nd semi-final: India vs Australia (India won by 15 runs)It was the 2nd semi-final of the tournament and MS Dhoni once again decided to bat first after winning the toss. Mitchell Johnson dismissed both Sehwag (9) and Gambhir (24) after which Yuvraj and Robin Uthappa added 84 runs for the third wicket. Yuvraj played another brilliant T20 innings where he scored 70 runs from just 30 balls. His innings included a massive six off Brett Lee that travelled 119m. Dhoni played a cameo towards the end (36 from 21) which helped India reach a formidable score of 188 runs.
Gilchrist and Hayden got Australia to a decent start as they put 36 runs for the first wicket. Brad Hodge and Symonds added another 32 runs in quick succession before Pathan dismissed Hodge for 11. Andrew Symonds (43 from 26) was looking dangerous at one stage, but with no support at the other end, he too perished in the 17th over. Australia’s only hope Michael Clarke was bowled by Harbhajan Singh which proved to be the final nail in the coffin as India advanced to the final of the ICC World T20 where they had to once again lock horns with Pakistan.
India vs South Africa (India won by 37 runs)Dhoni won the toss and decided to bat first. The decision didn’t work as they lost 4 wickets for just 61 runs. This time, Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni came for the rescue work as they added 85 runs at quick pace for the sixth wicket. Sharma remained unbeaten on 50 from 40 balls whereas Dhoni was run-out in the last over after scoring 45 from 33. India post a decent score of 153 runs.
RP Singh dismissed the Proteas openers for paltry scores. While Hershell Gibbs was lbw, Graeme Smith nicked one towards slips where Dinesh Karthik jumped to his left to take an excellent catch. It was a middle-order collapse for the Proteas and such was their poor show that apart from Mark Boucher (36 from 41) and Albie Morkel (36 from 37), none of their batsmen could score in double digits.
India comprehensively won the match by 37 runs and South Africa were eliminated from the tournament. With his victory, India also moved into the semi-final.
India vs England (India won by 18 runs)It was one of those matches which gave Indian fans the memories to cherish forever. Batting first, Gambhir and Sehwag built a solid foundation as they put a century stand for the first wicket. Darren Maddy dismissed Gambhir in the 15th over but by then the score read 136 runs. Chris Tremlett dismissed Robin Uthappa and Sehwag in successive overs and what followed is history.
At the end of the 17th over, Andrew Flintoff exchanged few words with Yuvraj Singh and the left-hander was clearly unhappy with whatever was said to him. It almost instigated Yuvi who expressed his vent in the next over bowled by Stuart Broad where he clobbered the England pacer for 6 massive sixes of that many balls. It was a delight for the Indian fans, commentators and everybody present at Kingsmead as they witnessed history being made. India posted a mammoth score of 218 runs.
England had an uphill task ahead as their openers got them to a good start by adding 53 runs for the first wicket in 5.4 overs. Irfan Pathan dismissed both the openers after which Kevin Pietersen continued the momentum and scored 39 runs from 23 balls before being caught and bowled by Harbhajan Singh. None of the English batsman managed to hit a cameo as England fell short by 18 runs.
India vs New Zealand (Kiwis win by 10 runs)India were high on confidence after defeating arch-rival Pakistan in the previous match. The Kiwis lost opener Lou Vincent in the second over and soon they were reduced to 91/5 after middle-order collapse. From there on, McMillan played gem of an innings as the Indians were forced to take a back seat with his brutal knock (44 from 23). Jacob Oram supported him well as he clobbered three sixes during his cameo (35 from 15). Kiwis scored a formidable score of 190 runs.
In reply, Gambhir and Sehwag got India to a rollicking start as they added 76 runs in just 5.5 overs. But once Oram dismissed Sehwag, none of the batsmen could build a partnership and India fell 10 runs short of the score.
India vs Pakistan (India win by bowl-out)India were keen to register a victory after their first match against Scotland was abandoned due to rain.
Batting first, India were struggling at 36/4 after Mohammad Asif ripped through the top-order. As wickets fell at regular intervals Robin Uthappa rose to the occasion with some superb counter-attack and it was because of his innings (50 from 39) that India managed to post a respectable total. Towards the end, MS Dhoni and Irfan Pathan hit some big blows as India finished 141/5.
Pakistan had a similar start and they lost 4 wickets for just 47 runs. When the Pakistani supporters lost all the hopes, Misbah-ul-Haq all of a sudden changed gears and brought his side very close to victory. Pakistan needed just one run off the last two balls but Misbah was run-out off the last ball and the match was tied.
It was for the first time that the result of a match was decided through bowl-out. Sehwag, Harbhajan and Uthappa hit the stumps as Arafat, Umar Gul and Afridi failed and India won the match in thrilling fashion.