Twelve months after the second semi-final of the World Cup between arch rivals India and Pakistan, reports suggest that the semi-final in Mohali on March 30, 2011, could be tainted. A few dropped catches and slow batting cost Pakistan a berth in the final.
Surprisingly, India's Sachin Tendulkar who top scored with 85 (115 balls) was dropped 4 times, while he survived twice in off-spinner Saeed Ajmal's one over. Tendulkar was let off for the first time, during the 11th over of the innings, as the umpire raised his finger to confirm an LBW dismissal but the master blaster went for a review. The ball had pitched in line, hit the batsman but replays showed that the ball would likely miss leg stump and was given 'not out'.
This raised a few eyebrows, while the spinner Ajmal unhappy with the decision and later said, he had bowled an arm-ball which would definitely go straight and hit the stumps, and wouldn't have missed the stumps. The replays by HawkEye indicated it was an off-spinner.
If that wasn't enough, Sachin survived yet again, in the next ball, as it looked like the legend was stumped, after he was beaten by Ajmal's doosra, the wicket keeper whipped off the bails while the batsman's leg was not grounded. But replays showed that there was scope for the batsman to have got his leg down just in time and was termed not out. It was a very close call indeed.
If two lives in a single over weren't enough, Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal dropped catches to grant Sachin 4 extra lives which helped him score 85.
With 6 lives, Sachin managed to get that score and India posted 260/9 off 50 overs.
While chasing the target, Pakistan lost track after the fall of Asad Shafiq (30). Later, Misbah played slowly which resulted in the outcome of the match as Pakistan lost by 29 runs to give India a opportunity to become World Champions, as India won the World Cup for the second time, and after a gap of 28 years.
When Misbah came into bat, Pakistan were in a good position as they needed 158 runs off 159 balls while he wasted too many deliveries though he scored a half century, as his slow batting cost them the match.
Did Pakistan deliberately drop catches and batted slowly to ensure an Indian victory? Such happenings on that day have led to match-fixing reports. The two nations have no record of playing generously as the match between these two nations are often considered to be intense and played out of revenge.