India has won the World Cup Cricket championship for 2011! Yaayyy!!
It was just brilliant! When Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni clouted that second ball of the 49th over from Nuwan Kulasekara over long on for a huge six, the World Cup of cricket was finally ours! After 28 years!! Wow, take that!!!Chasing a 'huge' score of 275 runs at the start of the Indian innings, the first blow came off the very second ball, when Virender Sehwag was adjudged LBW to a sharp in-cutter from Lasith Malinga. That grand old man of Indian cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, kept playing some great shots, till the first ball of the 6th over, when his poke was well held by a diving Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lankan keeper-cum-captain. The sight of Malinga celebrating that wicket stands out in memory! The reason: Sri Lanka never got a second chance thereafter!
So good were Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni, that India never lost track of the target, post that dismissal! In between, Virat Kohli, the young turk, played a nice cameo, and later, Yuvraj Singh (who is six days younger to me ;)) played special knocks, that took India to a historic win!
Never before has a team won a World Cup final chasing a target of 275 runs. Australia scored 274, before being all out in the 1975 final to the West Indies, chasing 291 runs. Never before has a team, with a centurion - Mahela Jayawardene - lost in a final! Never has a host nation won the World Cup playing at home, although Sri Lanka, a co-host, won in 1996 vs. Australia, at Lahore. The last time India won the World Cup, in 1983 vs. West Indies, no player scored a century. This time, again, no Indian player scored a century!
There should be many other firsts. However, I am too overwhelmed to even mention those! For now, let's all savour the famous win crafted by India over Sri Lanka at the new-look Wankhede Stadium!
For me, personally, I have been privileged to view both the triumphs -- the 1983 win at Lords against West Indies as a young boy, and now this, in 2011! Which one was better? Perhaps, 1983! Why? Simply because the conditions were really challenging, and India had to face a much, much deadlier bowling attack as well as a lethal batting line-up!
For now, let us all celebrate India's second World Cup triumph over Sri Lanka at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium! I simply can't sleep tonight for sure!! ;)