This day, 2007: When MS Dhoni & Co were crowned World T20 champions

New Delhi: With one wicket in hand, Pakistan needed six runs from four balls. Joginder Sharma was under immense pressure after giving away seven runs of the first two balls — a wide and a six over long-off. Misbah-ul-Haq was at the crease along with Mohammed Asif and all the players in the Pakistani dug-out were on their feet, waiting for Misbah to score the winning shot and celebrate what would have been one of their biggest wins at the international stage.

Joginder has a long chat with skipper M.S. Dhoni who came all the way down from the wicketkeeper’s end to soothe his bowler.

Joginder takes a deep breath, takes off from his run-up, and bowls a slower delivery outside the off stump. Misbah goes for the scoop shot over short fine-leg.

The ball goes straight up in the air and S. Sreesanth takes the catch, a moment because of which his name got etched in the record books.

India had won the inaugural ICC World T20 defeating arch-rivals Pakistan by five runs at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg in one of the most dramatic finals cricket fans can ever witness.

12 years have passed since that evening of September 24, 2007 but still that moment of Dhoni lifting the World T20 trophy is as fresh as it can get in the memories of cricket fans across the country.

On Tuesday, BCCI on its official Twitter handle, shared a 16-second video of the final moments of the game along with the caption: “This day in 2007, Team India were crowned World T20 Champions.”

India’s journey to the World T20 title was quite like a fairytale. It was a relatively young team, led by a long-haired Dhoni. They were not even counted among the contenders to enter the semi-finals, leave aside the trophy. They had the 50-over World Cup debacle in their memories.

However, against all odds, the young Indian team made it’s way into the last-four riding on most famous wins over the likes of South Africa and England.

And after beating hot favourites Australia in the semis, the Men in Blue entered the summit clash with a belief they could achieve something special and leave behind the poor performance in the 50-over World Cup where they exited in the group stage in the West Indies.

Electing to bat, Gautam Gambhir, who had been one of India’s top performers in the tournament, scored 75 runs as Dhoni’s side were limited to 157-5 in their stipulated quota of 20 overs. The other Indian batsmen fell cheaply and only Rohit Sharma managed to hit some good runs as he made 30 not out.

In reply, Pakistan suffered an early blow when Mohammad Hafeez was dismissed in the first over, and Kamran Akmal fell for a duck soon afterwards.

The hopes were all but dashed for the Men in Green when they lost Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi. However, Misbah played a blinder of an innings to take his team almost across the finishing line until he went for the scoop down the short fine leg and made Pakistan short of winning the title by just five runs.

Twelve years have passed since that memorable day and Team India are still in search for their second World T20 title.



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