On this day: Gautam Gambhir, MS Dhoni lead India to 2011 World Cup glory

Mumbai: On this day in 2011, MS Dhoni launched Nuwan Kulasekara for a six over the long-on to end India’s 28-year-old World Cup drought. In front of a wild crowd at the Wankehede Stadium in Mumbai, India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets to capture their second World Cup.

The spectacular final win, first by a team in history on home soil, sent the entire nation into frenzy as people took to the streets to celebrate India’s victory. Then ODI skipper Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan were the heroes of India’s win.

India marched into the finals after beating archrivals Pakistan in semi-final, while Sri Lanka beat New Zealand to reach the final.

Having won the toss, Sri Lanka opted to bat first and put up a total of 274 at a loss of six wickets in the 50 overs. Mahela Jayawardene (103*) struck an unbeaten century and Kumar Sangakkara added 48. Zaheer picked up two wickets, the bowler conceded just six runs in his first five overs.

In reply, India lost openers Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar early on. Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli added 83 runs for the third wicket before the current India skipper was dismissed on 35. Dhoni came in at number 5 ahead of Yuvraj Singh. Gambhir (97) and Dhoni (91*) stitched a partnership of 109 runs for the fourth wicket. Yuvraj joined Dhoni in the middle after Gambhir was dismissed.

Dhoni won the match for India with his trademark six. He was also adjudged Man of the Match. Yuvraj remained unbeaten on 21 and was awarded the Man of the Series award for his spectacular performance throughout the tournament.

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