ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

India v Sri Lanka, final, World Cup 2011, Mumbai

Jayawardene's moment, and Sreesanth's theatrics

Plays of the day from the 2011 World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka in Mumbai

ESPNcricinfo staff

April 2, 2011

Comments: 29 | Text size: A | A

Sreesanth had a difficult day in the field, leaking runs, India v Sri Lanka, final, World Cup 2011, Mumbai, April 2, 2011
Sreesanth came back to play after 42 days, and his theatrics returned with him © Getty Images

Move of the Day
Sri Lanka were wise to send Nuwan Kulasekara to bat ahead of a recognised allrounder like Thisara Perera. It was a critical moment in the match when Chamara Kapugedera disappointed by failing to read a slower ball from Zaheer Khan. At 182 for 6 with ten overs to go Sri Lanka needed another partnership before they could utilise the batting Powerplay to their advantage. Kulasekara might not be a specialist batsman but is a gritty character and he managed to rotate the strike with his senior partner Mahela Jayawardene and put the pressure back on the Indian bowlers. Eventually, their 66-run partnership allowed Sri Lanka to assume a commanding position, which was further strengthened by Jayawardene and Perera in final five overs, that fetched 63 runs.

Theatrics of the Day
There were plenty of Sreesanth moments on the field today. His first ball itself was full of theatrics. It pitched outside leg and straightened to catch Tillakaratne Dilshan on the pads, prompting an appeal so primal and so prolonged that it earned him a prompt rebuke from Aleem Dar. But it was in the 13th over when it all boiled over for Sreesanth. On the second ball, Kumar Sangakkara shimmed down the wicket and lofted over mid-off; the next one was driven straight back him and he splayed his legs to make room for the ball to pass through; on the fifth, he was warned for running on to the danger area; the sixth was a no-ball, and the free-hit was edged past the wicketkeeper for four. From 39 for 1 in 12 overs, Sri Lanka jumped to 54 in the course of these six balls, and Sreesanth walked off looked heavenwards, pondering divine injustice.

Mahela's Moment
The passage that captured how Jayawardene had gone about his stunning century involved not so much a shot but what he did after it. He smacked Zaheer over mid-off for a boundary and ran down the pitch pumping his fist and waving his bat everywhere he could see his country's flags. Then came the moment. He put down his bat, took off his gloves and helmet, and placed them on the ground. There were 13 balls to go but it was as if this was a Test match where he needed to take a breather to re-mark his guard and start again. He re-adjusted the bandana he wears before picking the helmet up again and strapping it all up. Zaheer was at the top of his run, arms on his hips, wondering waiting to bowl the next ball. The whole stadium, somewhat numbed by the Sri Lankan Powerplay acceleration, was waiting. Having controlled the entire innings, Mahela would not be rushed and more than anything else, who else could have taken their own time.

Catch of the Day
The third-wicket partnership between the two Indian Turks was beginning to build and had gone past 50 when Dilshan found his one chance. The Sri Lankan fielding had begun to flatline and then it happened. Virat Kohli tried to drive one over Dilshan but found neither direction and all that Dilshan saw was the ball coming to his right. He flung himself towards the non-striker Gautam Gambhir, and as it flew past, snatched it just in time. It was secure in his hand by the time he hit the ground and when he got up, he let out a shout of joy as his teammates crowded around him. The partnership had been broken and Sri Lanka then lifted themselves in the field.

Rearrangement of the Day
Zaheer and World Cup finals have an interesting relationship. In the ill-fated 2003 edition, he went for 15 runs in a wayward nervous first over after India had put Australia in. Today seemed set for perfect redemption when he started with three consecutive maidens and took Upul Tharanga's wicket, too, in his first spell. Cricket, though, can be cruel, and in his last spell, Zaheer realised just that. Mahela and Perera took 35 off his last two overs to send his figures from 5-3-6-1 at one point to 10-3-60-1. A lot can change in two hours.

Drop of the Day
Gautam Gambhir was on 30, looking ominous. Along with Kohli he had begun rebuilding the Indian innings after the early loss of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar. Suraj Randiv was bowling only his third ball of the World Cup. It was a well-flighted delivery, but Gambhir danced out of his crease to loft Randiv wide of Kulasekara at long-off. But the fielder failed to take a start, then charged abruptly and dived forward as the ball was falling down but could not pouch it. It proved to be a costly error as Gambhir eventually played a match-winning knock.


Comments: 29 
Posted by   on (April 3, 2011, 16:19 GMT)

Only 1 team can win the world cup. this time it is INDIA. all the very best to SL. really played like true champions. untill the last moment SL was playing great any maybe next world cup.Loosers for the SL team is Chamara Kapugedara, Chamara Sliva. Dilhara Fernando.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (April 3, 2011, 4:29 GMT)

@Osanda Saumya Weerarathna But there is only true World Champs , thats Team India...Indiaaaaa INDIA... :)

Posted by   on (April 3, 2011, 2:59 GMT)

I personally think the move of the day was Dhoni moving himself to no.5. Mind it, he was not in best of his batting form. I guess he wasnted to keep the left and right hand combination going so that the spinner will have difficulty in settling in to a good line. But all that hisoty now....the thing that matters is INDIA has won world cup. Its a great feeling......

Posted by rahulkmc on (April 3, 2011, 1:49 GMT)

@Roshini Vaas: I am sure we all Indians will agree with you. SL put up a great fight today and Mahela's knock was indeed a sight for sore eyes. But the way Gambhir and Dhoni fought back after the fall of Sehwag and Tendlya, that was sheer championship material. It was such an interesting match to watch, fit for a final - not a one-sided affair like we have seen some in the recent past. We can all be proud of our performances (Ind, SL, Pak, Ban).

Posted by rahulkmc on (April 3, 2011, 1:41 GMT)

Mahela's knock was like a beautiful dream - exuded pure class and the very essence of great batsmanship. I am pretty sure I have not seen a better ton from any player in the last 25 yrs of my cricket watching days, and boy did he choose an occasion for that. Even Sachin would be proud of that knock. Sadly for SL, that was overshadowed by a rejuvenated Indian Team - hardcore Indian fan

Posted by bravepirate on (April 3, 2011, 1:00 GMT)

I think Gambhir true deserved the man of the match award today. He came into the game at third ball and stayed on until the 42nd over. He had 2 good partnerships and rebuilt the innings after India was under pressure after losing 2 big wickets. I have alot of respect for Dhoni as a captain and he played a great knock but Gambhir deserved the man of the match

Posted by   on (April 3, 2011, 0:43 GMT)

Bad miss buys. but Indians were better. good job sanga & team. hats off to your glory. only thing we should remember is everything will not finish with a fairy fail end.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2011, 22:45 GMT)

its 10-3-60-2 for Zaheer and not 10-3-60-1, like you wrote.

Posted by StJohn on (April 2, 2011, 21:36 GMT)

Not for the first time in this World Cup a team's most economical bowlers haven't bowled their full quota. Maybe Murali couldn't have bowled more than 8, but if his injury wasn't preventing him bowling another couple of overs then he should have bowled his full 10. Instead, Kulasekara, SL's most expensive bowler, was given the penultimate over and Perera, the second most expensive, bowled 9. If Malinga, Murali, Randiv and maybe Dilshan too had bowled more overs, and Kulasekara and Perera about 5 overs or so fewer between them, then who knows? Maybe SL would have won - it would certainly have pushed it into the final over, and with Malinga bowling that anything could have happened. Weird captaincy.

Posted by Roshini on (April 2, 2011, 21:02 GMT)

Congrats India..What a magnificent finale! You played a brilliant game of cricket and as Sanga said we Sri Lankans solute your victory today. By quite a distance you were the better side and worthy winners of the ultimate prize. Well done team India and also we Sri lankans have every reason to be proud of for being so competitive in the final. Better luck next time. Roshini Vaas - Homagama Sri Lanka.

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