On this day: India were crowned World T20 champions in 2007
Updated - Sep 24, 2015 8:53 am
On this day: India were crowned World T20 champions in 2007: Who would agree that to start India weren’t exactly excited about T20 cricket? Seems difficult to digest now. The BCCI had to be convinced by the ICC to take part in the inaugural World T20 in South Africa. And look how things changed after that. India became the torch-bearer for T20 leagues around the world with the IPL. The whole power equations changed and the Indian board’s might increased financially as well as on the administrative front. And you can’t fault people if they say that much of that was not possible had India not won the trophy in inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in South Africa.
It was on this day in 2007 that India toppled Pakistan to complete a fairy tale triumph. It was one of the moments that has been, and forever will be, etched in the minds of the cricket fans in India.
Let us rewind our memories of that historic day when India were crowned World T20 champions in 2007:
India won the toss and elected to bat. Yusuf Pathan earned a surprise call as Sehwag was not fully fit. Opening the batting he hit a fabulous six off Mohammad Asif but was soon consumed by the pacer. But the Indian innings was on track though the run rate was below par. Yuvraj and Dhoni, the two explosive strikers in the middle order who had championed the team’s cause so wonderfully in India’s run-up to the final, failed to fire. Yuvraj, in particular whose blazing innings against England and Australia provided a spark to the Indian innings, couldn’t rise to the occasion.
All this while, Gambhir batted beautifully. He picked handy boundaries playing the pull and cut with relish. The Delhi batsman slammed a rollicking 75 before being dismissed and found an able partner in Rohit Sharma. The youngster scored 30 not out and was the only other notable contributor as the Indians found the going tough in the face of some disciplined bowling by their arch-rivals, who took control of the game from the midway stage.
India were 69 for 2 after 10 overs and they added only 87 runs in their next 10. Infact India got to their total of 157, only via a productive last over which earned 14 runs. Paceman Umar Gul played a big role in upsetting the tempo with a brilliant effort of 3 for 28 in his four overs.
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RP Singh struck early with the wickets of Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal, to set the Pakistan innings back. But, in between, Imran Nazir did a lot of damage, taking 21 runs off Sreesanth’s first over. Nazir roughed up the pacer with his audacious stroke-play, smashing him for two sixes and two fours.
Luckily for India, they got him out-of-the-way in the sixth over when Robin Uthappa’s direct hit from mid-off saw Nazir short of the crease. Younis Khan became the fourth casualty in the innings when he holed out in the deep to Joginder Sharma for a sedate 24.
However, it was Irfan Pathan who really rocked the Pakistan innings in the middle overs when he dismissed captain Shoaib Malik (8) and big hitter Shahid Afridi (0) within the space of three deliveries. Malik, who crawled to 8 off 17-balls was struggling to even put bat to ball.
At 78 for 6 after 12 overs, Pakistan needed 80 runs off 48 balls at 10 runs per over with just 4 wickets in hand. And when Irfan Pathan bowled Yaseer Arafat in the 16th over, Pakistan needed 53 runs from 4 overs with just three wickets in the kitty.
That was when all the drama began. Misbah-ul Haq hit three towering sixes off Harbhajan in the 17th over to engineer a heart-stopping finish.
After much thinking, MS Dhoni put faith in Joginder Singh for the last six balls, from which Pakistan required 13. The first ball was a wide; the second a full toss which Misbah put away for six. The Pakistan fans at the ground were jubilant, the Indian supporters crestfallen. Misbah then decided to walk across his stumps to paddle Joginder to fine leg, only to miscue the shot and find Sreesanth lurking at short fine leg. The instant Sreesanth took the catch, the Wanderers exploded. India had won by 5 runs and clinched the trophy. It was some achievement after their disastrous run in the ODI World Cup, the same year.
For the BCCI which had sent a potentially under strength side it was nothing short of a miracle. It was the perfect finale to the perfect competition. MS Dhoni had arrived on the world stage and in style. What followed in Dhoni’s career is a part of cricketing folklore. Irfan Pathan who scalped three wickets, was adjudged Man of the Match. Joginder never played another match for India.
India 157 for 5 (Gambhir 75, Gul 3-28) beat Pakistan 152 (Misbah-ul-Haq 43, Pathan 3-16, RP Singh 3-23) by 5 runs
Relive the moment:
Harsha Bhogle is right on the money with this one:
If Joginder Sharma was 5k quicker, Misbah's shot may well have sailed over Sreesanth……..
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 24, 2015