Mahendra Singh Dhoni - Leading from the front in the ICC World Cup 2011 final

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Michael Phelps

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  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni - Leading from the front in the ICC World Cup 2011 final

Mahendra Singh Dhoni - Leading from the front in the ICC World Cup 2011 final

The Final of the ICC World Cup 2011 was staged at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, between Sri Lanka and India. Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit the second ball of the 49th over for a tremendous six, the ball flew over long on and India was the new Champion of the Cricket World Cup. The crowd shouted “India, India, India”. Yuvraj Singh was overjoyed with tears once he hugged his Captain as the whole Indian team ran in the field to greet their heroes.

Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat with an anticipation of posting a fighting score on board. They were able to accumulate 274 runs for the loss of six wickets in the allotted 50 overs. Mahela Jayawardene played a thunder knock of unbeaten 103 runs off 88 balls assisted with 13 fours as Captain Kumar Sangakkara contributed 48 runs.

Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh got two victims each while Harbhajan Singh claimed a wicket as well.

The start of the Indian innings was not very impressive as Virender Sehwag was declared leg before wicket for a duck on the second ball of the speedster Lasith Malinga and the whole crowd was shocked. The two youngsters Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli took over and stabilised the innings. Both took the score to 114 runs before Kohli left the crease by contributing 35 runs after having a partnership of 83 runs for the third wicket. The match was evenly poised at that time when the third wicket was lost in 21.4 overs as the Captain Dhoni appeared on the scene and joined Gambhir ahead of Yuvraj Singh.

Dhoni came with an attacking approach but his record in the tournament had not been impressive in the previous seven matches as his highest score has only been 34 runs. He wanted to capture the moments by forgetting the previous innings and performing as a leader in the historical final. He crafted the innings with maturity and assurance by keeping the score board moving along with Gambhir who was doing wonders at the other end and in the process both completed their fifties. Both went along well and kept on the momentum and run rate in control but Gambhir was eventually dismissed on 97 runs.

The fourth wicket fell at the total of 223 runs in 41.2 overs. A run rate of nearly 6.2 was required when Yuvraj joined in the park. Dhoni was unbeaten on 60 runs at that time when he took over the game well assisted by Yuvraj at the other end. The captain led the team from the front by hitting the winning six and held the innings till they were through to grasp the coveted Trophy. He remained unbeaten on 91 runs posted in 79 balls with 2 sixes and 8 fours as Yuvraj was not out on 21 runs in 24 balls when the target was achieved by scoring 277 runs in 48.2 overs.

Dhoni was rightly declared ‘Player of the match’ because of his brave batting and thoughtful captaincy.

That was the fine display of leadership by Dhoni who promoted himself up in the batting order. He took the pressure of the game assuring his batting partners throughout the innings. It is mostly due to him that India has earned the most prestigious Jewel in the cricketing world, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, Trophy.


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