India win inaugural T20 World Cup

The twenty twenty format of the game was introduced to draw more crowds to cricket, and to make inroads into newer markets.  And the T-20 final did exactly that. It was a great advertisement for the game, and has put to rest any doubts that 20-20 would not be successful

Venue : Wanderers, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Final score : India 157/5 beat Pakistan 152 all out, by five runs. 

By winning this game, India have erased the memories of that painful loss four years ago, at this very ground, to Australia in the finals of the Cricket World Cup ( 50 over format).

The pitch at the Wanderers was a good one for the batsmen, and a score in the 160 + range could at best have been described as competitive. The boundary near the score board was one of the shortest you could get in any part of the world, and I’m surprised that more people didn’t clear the ropes.

India started well after winning the toss and Gautam Gambhir held the innings together.They lost the plot between overs 12-17 when Yuvraj was trying to get settled. Yuvraj did not go bang bang as he did against Australia and England in Durban, and I think that one reason for that was the introduction of Hafeez andAfridi. Against the Aussies, he had only pacers to contend with, and went after them the moment he walked in. Plus the pressure of being in the final of an international event would have forced him to be a bit cautious. It was always going to be a chance that they had taken- had Yuvraj managed to unleash his fury after getting settled in, India might have easily reached 200. Fortunately for Pakistan, he fell at a crucial stage, and what could have been a 180+ became a 157.

This pitch had a lightening quick outfield, but it did look as if the emphasis had to be on cricketing shots rather than merely pounding the ball into submission. Destroying the ball’s shape was not what the batsmen had to do- they simply needed to find the gaps and time the ball, and the outfield would do the rest.

Mohammed Hafeez palmed a shot from Rohit Sharma over the ropes in the last over, and looking at the final result, it did prove to be costly.

Pakistan were quicker off the mark than their subcontinental neighbours, and raced to 53/2 in six overs with six boundaries and two sixes. And then Imran Nazir, who was struggling with a groin problem, was run out thanks to a direct hit from Uthappa. Nazir was not allowed the luxury of using a runner ( he couldn’t use one since he came into the game with the injury), and a fully fit batsman would have probably managed to ground his bat comfortably.

From then on, things went horribly wrong for Pakistan. Dhoni pulled off a masterstroke by placing five in the circle instead of the customary four.  Without a long on, Younis Khan felt tempted to send a wide Joginder Sharma ball that way. The shot wasn’t executed perfectly, and Yusuf Pathan took a simple catch at mid on. Shoaib Malik and Misbah tried to bring a sense of normalcy to the chase by picking up ones and twos, but the pressure of the increasing run rate finally showed. Malik fell to Pathan, and two balls later Afridi holed out to Sreesanth at long off. The Pathan over had swung things India’s way, and Pakistan now needed 80 off 8 overs with four wickets in hand.

A few minutes later. 53 needed off four- the bowler Harbhajan Singh. Misbah’s shot goes to fine leg, but he refuses to take the single. He then goes on to hit Harbhajan for consecutive sixes ( with a total of three in the over). 35 off three.

Arafat had departed by then, and it was Sreesanth bowling to Tanvir. And the left handed batsman sent the Kerala medium pacer twice over the ropes before having his stumps rattled. 20 off 2.

RP Singh bowled a remarkable over  in which he sent Gul back to the pavillion. With 17 to win and one wicket in hand, RP’s misplaced fulltoss went to thirdman off Asif’s bat. 13 off the last over.

Dhoni had a decision to take. Joginder Sharma or Harbhajan Singh. Taking into account the fact that Misbah ( the man who preferred the midwicket boundary) was on strike, he brought on Joginder.  Sharma often tends to bowl balls outside the off stump, and it would need Misbah to target point and long off. First ball wide, second ball dot. Third ball- a fulltoss sent over the ropes- 6 to win from four.

In the first game between these two teams, it had been Misbah who had bought Pakistan so close to victory. And sadly for him, it stayed that way in this game.  Sharma isn’t your fastest bowler, and so Misbah chose to try to walk to his off stump and hit it over fine leg ( who was in the circle). The ball had more elevation than distance, and a gleeful Sreesanth took a catch to grant India the honour of being the first T-20 champions.

As for Yuvraj Singh, he got 1 crore INR from his board for smashing Chris Broad for six sixes.

Man of the match : Irfan Pathan ( 4-0-16-3)

Man of the series : Shahid Afridi . 

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2 Comments »

  1. ron found said

    can you tell me if there are any dvd s for sale of the 20-20 2007 series.

    a very excellent series.

  2. naushad said

    can u give me T20 2007 world cup final’s man of the match & man of the series detail.

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