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75 years of independence: Iconic moments from Indian sports – India beats Sri Lanka to lift World Cup in 2011

India will complete 75 years of Independence this year. Here is a series acknowledging greatest sporting achievements by Indian athletes.

April 2, 2011: India climbs ODI cricket pinnacle after 28 years

At the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday, the nation’s aim of boosting its reputation as a major power in the world game found magnificent realisation, 28 years after Indian cricket changed irrevocably on a summer’s day in England.


Mahela Jayawardene’s century (103 not out) of exceptional brilliance brightened the World Cup final and helped Sri Lanka reach 274 for six in 50 overs. But Gautam Gambhir came back with a 97-run innings that was equally impressive. Under pressure, captain M.S. Dhoni (91 not out) gave it all he had and smashed the go-ahead six to give India and the legendary Sachin Tendulkar the World Cup.

Yuvraj Singh was demoted by Dhoni so that he could join Gambhir. Together, the two batters took charge of the run chase, keeping an eye out for Malinga and Muttiah Muralitharan, both of whom posed threats despite not being at full fitness.


Gambhir and Dhoni took advantage of every chance that came their way, such as when Kumar Sangakkara brought the field up or one of the bowlers made a mistake. A worn-out Gambhir was also pushed hard between the wickets by Dhoni, who also made sure that the fielders were continuously hassled and that the bowlers frequently had to adjust lines. The 109-run partnership came to an end just as it appeared Sri Lanka was under further pressure.


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