"And Dhoni finishes off in style. India lift the World Cup after 28 years", these words by Ravi Shastri will forever reverberate in the memory of every Indian cricket lover who witnessed that magical night of April 2, 2011. Needing 4 from 11, captain MS Dhoni hit Sri Lanka pacer Nuwan Kulasekara for a huge six over long-on to end India's long wait of 28 years to get their hands around the coveted World Cup trophy.
With this victory, India became the first team to win a World Cup at home and became the only team to win the 60-over World Cup and the 50-over World Cup. Also, this was Dhoni's second world title after having clinched the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007.
Chasing 275 to win, the men in blue held their nerves in the tense final to register a six-wicket win against Sri Lanka at the iconic Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. Opener Gautam Gambhir top-scored for the hosts with a special knock off 97, while, Dhoni played a memorable hand with his unbeaten 91 to send the 1.2 billion cricket-mad nation into a frenzy.
Earlier, riding on Mahela Jayawardene’s magnificent hundred Sri Lanka managed to put up a competitive score of 274/7 in 50 overs. The visitors put themselves in great position after dismissing Sehwag and Tendulkar cheaply. However, it was Gambhir who steadied the ship for India with an 83-run stand with Virat Kohli before the latter was dismissed for 34. After Kohli's dismissal, Dhoni promoted himself up the order ahead of in-form Yuvraj Singh and it proved to be a masterstroke.
Both Gambhir and Dhoni then stitched a brilliant 109-run stand for the fourth-wicket. During the chase, the Indian skipper also notched up his first World Cup fifty but Gambhir missed a memorable ton by just three runs as he was bowled by Thisara Perera for 97. However, Dhoni kept his calm and anchored India's chase with supreme ease.
After Kapil Dev's team which had put India on the world cricket map with their historic triumph in the 1983 World Cup at Lord’s, it was the time for Dhoni's devils to lay the foundation for India’s global domination. The victory was all the more special for the 'God of Cricket' - Sachin Tendulkar as it was the only title missing from his illustrious cabinet.
For many, it was a night to remember for decades, high on emotions and sentiments as it gave a moment of joy to a 1.2 billion nation often dealing with several other issues. All-rounder Yuvraj Singh was adjudged the 'Man of the Tournament' for his contribution to India's success. He scored 362 runs in 9 matches and scalped 15 wickets.