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  #26  
Old 04-02-2011, 07:22 PM
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India power past Sri Lanka to Cricket World Cup triumph


Watch highlights on Red ****on (satellite/cable) and BBC Sport website at 2200 BST, 2230 on Freeview and 2325 on BBC Two

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 final, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai: India 277-4 beat Sri Lanka 274-6 by four wickets


India became the first host nation to win the World Cup






India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in a pulsating final to deliver World Cup glory to their cricket-mad population for the first time since 1983.

Sri Lanka smashed 91 from their last 10 overs to post 274-6 in Mumbai, with Mahela Jayawardene making a superb 103.
India lost Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar early on but Gautam Gambhir and Mahendra Dhoni rebuilt the innings.
Gambhir was out for 97, but captain Dhoni's brilliant unbeaten 91 led India to a famous win with 10 balls to spare.



The skipper, struggling for form throughout the tournament, played the innings of his life and sealed the victory with a phenomenal straight six that sailed high into the stands, providing the catalyst for euphoric celebrations in the Wankhede Stadium.



Tendulkar's early dismissal for 18 ensured there was to be no fairytale 100th international century for Mumbai's favourite son.

It was a very competitive total in the end, but India's batting came through. Gambhir took a risk or two, he should have been caught, but he settled down when Dhoni came in - and Dhoni batted magnificently. They call him Mr Cool here, he never flaps and his temperament stood him in good stead. It's a good result for 50-over cricket


Former England batsman Geoff Boycott on Test Match Special



But wonderful innings from Gambhir and Dhoni ensured the "Little Master" can finally get his hands on the sport's ultimate prize at the sixth attempt as India became the first host nation to win the tournament, while Jayawardene became the first player to score a hundred in the final and finish on the losing side.
Meanwhile, it was a sad end to the incredible career of Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan who, having battled injuries throughout the event, failed to take a wicket in his last international match.
And when the Sri Lankan inquest begins, they will surely regret the decision to make four changes for the final, only one of which was enforced.
With off-spinner Ajantha Mendis dropped, replacement bowlers Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara and Suraj Randiv managed only one wicket between them from 26.2 overs.



Chasing a total 46 runs higher than the previous best under lights at the venue, prolific openers Sehwag and Tendulkar stepped out to a cacophony of noise.



But it only took two balls for the mood inside the stadium to be transformed as Sehwag failed to get his bat on a full straight delivery from Lasith Malinga and was trapped in front of his stumps.
Tendulkar, seemingly carrying the hopes of a billion Indians on his shoulders, soon had the crowd in a frenzy with two sumptuous boundaries off Kulasekara, but hopes of him reaching the 100 century landmark in the final were to be sadly dashed.



Kumar Sangakkara's decision to give Malinga a fourth over with the new ball proved a masterstroke as the paceman tempted Tendulkar into a swipe outside off stump and a thick edge was taken low by the captain himself behind the stumps.
Jayawardene's masterly hundred was his third in World Cups

While Malinga wheeled away in celebration with his team-mates in pursuit, a stunned silence fell over the Wankhede.
Gambhir and Virat Kohli would have been forgiven for going into their shell but the duo remained positive in seeing India to 105-2 off 20 overs.
Their partnership had reached 83 when Kohli got a leading edge to a Tillakaratne Dilshan delivery and was brilliantly caught one-handed by the bowler for 35.



Dhoni, whose previous highest score at the tournament was 34, took the brave decision to promote himself up the batting order above Yuvraj Singh and after a watchful start he started to find his range on his favoured off side.
The right-hander's partnership with the left-handed Gambhir kept the Sri Lanka bowlers guessing and gradually the duo chipped away at the total.
After taking the score past 200, Dhoni required treatment for a side strain but the skipper did not lose any focus as he leant back and chopped Muralitharan through the off side for four.
Without ever batting with the fluency of Jayawardene, Gambhir worked his way to within three of a famous hundred before he was clean bowled by Perera to give Sri Lanka hope.



With the score on 241-4, Sri Lanka thought they had run out Dhoni when Kapugadera's throw hit the stumps but with replays inconclusive, the India skipper was reprieved.


The 109 stand between Gambhir and Dhoni was key to India's victory

After 46 overs, Sangakkara made the surprise decision to throw the ball to Kulasekara instead of the clearly disgruntled Muralitharan and the tactic back-fired as India helped themselves to 11 runs.



The same number followed from Malinga's next over to put India on the brink of victory, before Yuvraj Singh took a single to give Dhoni the strike with four more runs needed.
The wicketkeeper-batsman's stunning final blow provided a fitting end to a memorable final.



Earlier, the coin toss was shrouded in confusion as the noise of the crowd rendered Sangakkara's call inaudible to match referee Jeff Crowe. He ordered a re-toss, which was won by the Sri Lanka captain, who opted to bat to the obvious frustration of his opposite number Dhoni.
When the action began, India settled the faster with seamer Zaheer Khan getting straight into rhythm.



Suffocating Upul Tharanga with a tight off stump line, he bowled three consecutive maidens before having the batsman caught at slip for two off a perfect outswinger.



Dilshan took his tournament run haul to exactly 500 before he was dismissed by Harbhajan Singh in the spinner's second over. The batsman attempted a sweep but the ball struck his arm and thigh pad before rebounding agonisingly on to his stumps.


Veteran pair Sangakkara and Jayawardene got the innings back on track with a partnership of 62 as Sri Lanka reached 122-2 in the 28th over.
But their stand was broken by Yuvraj as Sangakkara - two short of his half-century - attempted a square cut to a shorter ball and got a faint edge through to Dhoni.



Jayawardene, who reached fifty from 49 balls, produced an innings of impeccable touch and timing, scoring heavily in the third man area and keeping his score moving at a run a ball to drag his team towards a competitive total.



With Sreesanth leaking runs, Dhoni was forced to use part-time bowlers Tendulkar and Kohli before recalling Zaheer to the attack.
But it was the irrepressible Yuvraj who struck the next blow. Thilan Samaraweera got too far across his stumps attempting to sweep and was struck on the thigh. Simon Taufel's not out decision was overturned on review, with replays showing the ball would have struck middle stump.
Zaheer could not be kept out of the limelight for long and a superb slower ball totally deceived Chamara Kapugedera, who could only prod the ball tamely to Suresh Raina at mid-off.
At 183-5 going into the last 10 overs, India were well on top but with Jayawardene still at the crease there was every chance of Sri Lanka posting a competitive total.



With Kulasekara (32 off 30 balls) scoring quickly at the other end, the former skipper began to take calculated risks, accelerating through the 80s and 90s and bringing up his hundred off 84 balls during the batting powerplay with consecutive boundaries off Zaheer.
Kulasekara's run out brought Perera to the crease with two overs remaining, and the all-rounder did exactly what was needed, swinging from the hip to smash 22 off nine deliveries, including 16 off the last four balls of the innings.



But although the late flurry propelled Sri Lanka to a healthy total, Gambhir and Dhoni ensured it was India who joined Australia and the West Indies as the only sides to win the World Cup more than once.
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  #27  
Old 04-02-2011, 07:26 PM
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Mumbai: Sachin Tendulkar failed with the bat but still ended a World Cup-winner for the first time on Saturday as India defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets in the final.
Many fans in a capacity 33,000 crowd had piled into the Wankhede Stadium hoping to see the 37-year-old Tendulkar, on his home ground, score his hundredth international hundred.





But instead the star batsman, bidding to fulfill a lifelong ambition by winning the World Cup at his sixth -- and in all likelihood last -- attempt, was dismissed for just 18.


It had seemed as if Tendulkar and India might be outshone by a masterful hundred from Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene, who made 103 not out in a total of 274 for six after the islanders won the toss and batted.
India's millions of fans around the world were stunned when, in reply, Virender Sehwag was lbw for nought second ball to Lasith Malinga.
Tendulkar, who has 51 Test hundreds and 48 in one-day internationals, produced two stylish boundaries, driving Nuwan Kulasekara down the ground and cutting him for another four.


But his brief, 14-ball innings ended when he tried to steer Malinga through the off-side only to be caught behind by Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara to leave India 31 for two. Tendulkar walked off to the kind of standing ovation usually reserved for batsmen who've scored far more than 18, in what was a recognition of his previous great deeds rather than this innings.


"I couldn't have asked for anything more than this. Winning the World Cup is the proudest moment of my life," said Tendulkar.
"Thanks to my teammates - without them, nothing would have happened."
Earlier Jayawardene, 33, reached his century in superb style with two successive boundaries off Zaheer Khan.


First he cut the left-arm quick behind high behind square on the offside before next ball striking a brilliant boundary over mid-off to go to the landmark in 84 balls with 13 fours.


But for the second time in as many finals, following Sri Lanka's defeat by Australia in Barbados four years ago, Jayawardene finished a runner-up, with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni hitting a six to seal victory with 10 balls to spare.
Jayawardene secured the unwanted record of becoming the first man to score a hundred in a World Cup final yet finish on the losing side.


All five previous tons in the fixture -- by Clive Lloyd (West Indies, 1975), Vivian Richards (West Indies, 1979), Aravinda de Silva (Sri Lanka 1996), Ricky Ponting (Australia, 2003) and Adam Gilchrist (Australia 2007) had been made in winning causes.
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  #28  
Old 04-02-2011, 07:44 PM
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Cool India are the Champions of the World


Mumbai: The magnificent Team India kept its cool to beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in the final of the World Cup at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.
Indian skipper MS Dhoni (91) hit the winning runs by swatting a huge six over the long-on boundary.





Yuvraj Singh (21) also remained unbeaten with the Indian skipper at the end.
Gautam Gambhir led the Indian run chase of 275 but fell three run short of his maiden World Cup century.


The left-handed batsman first shared a vital 83-run stand with young Virat Kohli (35) and then got an able partner in MS Dhoni, who himself played some delightful strokes on his way to a wonderful fifty.


The two batsman also shared a priceless 109-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
For Sri Lanka Lasith Malinga gave India two blows early on in their innings as the Sri Lankan pacer first trapped Virender Sehwag right in front of the wickets and then followed it up with getting Sachin Tendulkar caught behind the wickets.
Sehwag took a decision review to a decision which looked pretty forward from the naked eye. And after replays from various angles, the third umpire had put a stamp on the on field umpire's decision.


But despite losing an early wicket, Sachin Tendulkar kept sending the ball to the boundary and kept the Indian scoreboard moving, along with Gautam Gambhir.
But the master played a lose stroke on the delivery that was leaving him from left to right and gave a simple catch to Kumar Sangakkara.


Earlier, Kohli's wicket gave Sri Lanka an opening to claw their way back in the game after the right-handed batsman, along with Gambhir, propped up India from a precarious situation.
Kohli, after hitting Tillakaratne Dilshan for a boundary, was caught by the off spinner in the same over.
Thisara Perera got the other wicket that fell in the Indian innings. He bowled well-set Gambhir.
In the first innings, India gave away 63 runs during the batting powerplay in the death overs as Mahela Jayawardene's blazing century ( 103 off 88 balls) powered Sri Lanka to a challenging 274/6.


The experienced Jayawardene first played cautiously during the middle innings when Sri Lanka lost too many wickets, but he opened his shoulders once he got a more than helpful partner in the form of Nuwan Kulasekara.
Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh picked up two wickets each for the Indians, while Harbhajan Singh took one wicket after Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and elected to bat first.


It was Jayawardene's show all the way as the seasoned campaigner kept the scoreboard ticking even when wickets were falling at the other end.
The right-hander hit 13 crisp boundaries on his way to the magical figure.
Zaheer, who bowled three maidens and gave away just six runs in his first five overs, was plundered for 54 in his last five overs.


Sreesanth was equally unimpressive throughout the match. He bowled in three different spells but was scored off in each one of them. He couldn't even finish his full quota of overs and finished with eight overs for 52 runs.
Earlier, Quick wickets - Thilan Samaraweera (21) and Chamara Kapugedera (1) - gave India an opening to restrict Sri Lanka before 250 in the World Cup final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.


First Yuvraj trapped Samaraweera right in front, while Zaheer Khan deceived Kapugedera with a slower delivery.
But the experienced Mahela Jayawardene kept the scoreboard ticking after Sri Lanka lost the wicket of their skipper Kumar Sangakkara (48).
Sangakkara was caught behind the wickets of the bowling of Yuvraj Singh.
Jayawardene scored a well-composed fifty and always kept Sri Lanka to post a modest total.


Earlier, Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene took the Sri Lankan innings forward after Harbhajan Singh gave India their second breakthrough.
The wily off-spinner clean bowled Tillakaratne Dilshan after the Sri Lankan opener threatened to take the attack to the opposition.


Sangakkara and Jayawardene, both brilliant players of spin, played cautiously early on in their innings but opened their shoulders once they got their eye in.
Earlier, Zaheer got reward for the perfect line and length as the Indian bowling spearhead got the wicket of Sri Lankan opener Upul Tharanga (2), who was caught brilliantly in the slips by a diving Virender Sehwag.


The left-armer bowled back-to-back maiden overs to the Lankan openers that created the pressure and ultimately the wicket fell.
Lankan skipper Sangakkara and hard-hitting Dilshan tried to cut loose after Zaheer Khan provided India the first breakthrough. But Dilshan's wicket put the brakes on Lankan scoring.


S Sreesanth, who replaced Ashish Nehra in the Indian playing eleven, supported Zaheer well initially but lost his line completely in the latter spells.
Dilshan tried to break free on some occasions but was pegged back by the superb Indian fielding. Yuvraj Singh at backward point and Suresh Raina in the covers fielded like tigers to cut the angles and prevent Sri Lanka from scoring.
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  #29  
Old 04-02-2011, 07:44 PM
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:45 PM
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He is cying

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