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World Cup Redux: In 2011, Dhoni Brings an End to the Wait for Glory

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: April 18, 2019, 11:18 AM IST
World Cup Redux: In 2011, Dhoni Brings an End to the Wait for Glory

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"Dhoniiii...finishes off in style"

No Indian fan is likely to forget these words, from current coach Ravi Shastri as MS Dhoni sent Sri Lanka's Nuwan Kulasekara into the stands behind long-on at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on April 2, 2011. It was the moment that earned India their second World Cup title, ending their 28-year wait that began in 1983.

If the finish was stylish, the innings itself was one of courage. It began with the Indian captain, who had been out of form leading to the final, promoting himself ahead of the eventual Man of the Tournament Yuvraj Singh.

India were 114 for 3 in the 22nd over, chasing a stiff 275-run target set by Sri Lanka on the back of Mahela Jayawardene's unbeaten 103. The pressure was mounting with the game on the balance, but Dhoni walked ahead of Yuvraj to counter Muttiah Muralitharan's off-spin.

Dhoni joined Gautam Gambhir in the middle, and what followed after that is history. Gradually, the duo took India closer, with smart batting in the middle overs.

Gambhir and Dhoni added 109 runs for the fourth wicket, before the former gave it away trying to attack Thisara Perera. It would have been a World Cup winning century, but Gambhir had to settle for 97. It was still worth its weight in gold.

When Gambhir fell, the equation came down to 52 off 52 with Dhoni on 60. The Indian captain then added 31 runs in his next 18 balls, including that unforgettable six which was followed by the bat-twirl.

First Published: April 18, 2019, 10:54 AM IST
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