Mumbai, April 2: In the end, the big tournament culminated in the best possible way for the home side - they turned World Champions! India beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets with 10 balls remaining to complete a truly historic victory. After a couple of big hic-cups to begin with in their innings, namely losing the wickets of Sehwag (0) and Tendulkar (18) early, Gautam Gambhir steadied the innings with Kohli (35) and took it forward with Dhoni. Then when Gambhir departed for 97, Yuvraj (21) and Dhoni (91) managed to take India over the home stretch with the Indian captain finishing off the match with a six. (Sri Lanka's innings). [Scorecard], [Ball by Ball], [Commentary], [Gallery]
India's unhealthy start
After Sehwag got out for a duck to malinga, Sachin Tendulkar took a couple of doubles off the same bowler and knocked two boundaries off Kulasekara as India climbed to 26/1 in 4 overs. But in the 7th over, Malinga got Sachin to chase an outswinger which he edged to the keeper. Tendulkar was out for 18 off 14 balls and India were in trouble at 31/2 in 6.1 overs. But Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir took the side to 50 in the 11th over and pressed ahead.
Gambhir makes fifty
However, with the score at 70/2, Gambhir was nearly caught at long off off off-break Suraj Randiv, the ball falling just short of the diving fielder. Gambhir had another stroke of luck when the keeper missed a chance to run him out in the 19th over. But just a run later, he had notched up his 50. And then the batsman brought up India's 100 in the 20th over. However, then Kohli was brilliantly caught and bowled by Dilshan Tillkaratne and Indian were 127/3 in 26.3 overs.
Gambhir and Dhoni's damaging stand
Gambhir and Dhoni motored along going from strength to strength in their stand. They took India to 150 in 30th over and then to 175 in the 34th over. Theh the duo took India to 200 in the 38th over, before Dhoni struck a four to celebrate as the equation was reduced to 71 runs required off 72 balls. Then with 52 runs required off 53 balls, Gambhir was bowled by Thisara Perera for 97.
The home stretch
After Yuvraj came in and struck a four off Thisara Perera, India needed 48 off 48 balls to win. Then with 43 runs needed off 42, Dhoni played his famed helicopter shot for six off Perera to nearly get run out in the next ball. With 35 runs to get off 36 balls, Dhoni was again nearly run out and then Yuvraj survived an lbw review against him when replays showed he had got an inside edge.
Then India were obliged to take the batting powerplay in the 45th over with Malinga coming into bowl. The bowler conceded just 3 runs off that over. But then Yuvraj took two fours off Perera while Dhoni smacked Malinga for two consecutive boundaries. India then needed just 5 runs to win from the last two overs. Then Yuvraj took a single off Kulasekara to give Dhoni the strike and the Indian captain struck the winning six to take India over the line and win them the Cup!