India first nation to win World Cup on home soil


Team India with Cricket World Cup trophy
Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni's brilliant partnership paved the way for India to end its 28-year wait for a World Cup title even as Mahela Jayawardene's century and Muttiah Muralitharan's swansong ended in hurt and despair.

Chasing a target of 275, India were pegged on the back foot as early as the second ball of their innings when Lasith Malinga trapped Virender Sehwag plumb in front. Malinga then struck again in the seventh over when he had Mumbai's icon Sachin Tendulkar caught behind in the seventh over. But, the title was sealed when Dhoni hit the first ball of the 49th over for a massive six to put the icing on the cake and send a billion people into raptures.

And, to make things even sweeter for India, Yuvraj Singh was named Man of the Series for his 15 wickets and 362 runs. This win has also completed the career CV of Tendulkar, who didn't contribute to the final as much as he may have liked to, but his innings in the lead-up to the final, not least in the semi-finals against Pakistan. It was also the perfect send-off for coach Gary Kirsten, who has now ended his tenure with the Indian team.

Coming back to the loss of those two early wickets, Gambhir and Kohli got the run chase back on track with a 83-run partnership as the Delhi boys got India right back into the match taking minimal risks and milking the Sri Lankan bowling to the fullest. And, even after Kohli was caught off his own bowling by Dilshan, Dhoni and Gambhir took the chase forward.

Dhoni has not been in the best of forms with the bat in the World Cup, but he potentially played the knock of his career in the final as he remained unbeaten on a 79-ball 91 and shared in a 109-run partnership with Gambhir as they snuffed the fight out of the Sri Lankan attack and broke their spirit with each run they made. And, even though Gambhir was bowled going for a massive hit when on 97, India wasn't denied to be a win and it was fitting that Dhoni and Yuvraj, who have shared in so many monumental partnerships were in the middle, when the mission was finally achieved.

Earlier, Jayawardene scored his 14th one-day international century as his unbeaten 103 helped Sri Lanka set India a target of 275 to win the final of the 2011 World Cup at Mumbai's packed Wankhede Stadium.

The BCCI rewarded every Indian cricketer part of India’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 squad will get a reward of Rs.1 crore each.

But the BCCI has not forgotten the men who picked these boys. The Indian selectors may have missed the Mohali match, but they will not complain as they have been granted a reward themselves, richer by Rs.25 lakhs each.

And even Gary Kirsten, the Indian coach, and his support staff will receive parting gifts of Rs.50 lakhs each for their part in making the Indian dressing room conducive for such superlative success.

Expect more perks coming the way of the Indian cricketers after his ascent. The Hyundai Verna awaits them for starters.

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