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Sunday, April 03, 2011

India win World Cup deservedly and comfortably

India 4/277 (48.2 ov, G Gambhir 97, M S Dhoni 91*) beat Sri Lanka 6/274 (50ov, M Jayawardene 103*, K Sangakkara 48) by six wickets: CWC 201 final at Mumbai ( aka Bombay). India win tournament.

Well done, India. Your victory confirms you as the top world team in the two major forms of the game: Tests and ODIs. T20 has taken a back seat for the moment and the future of the 50 overs (or thereabouts) a side game looks assured for the next few years, not only because India are both world champs and the financial powerhouse of world cricket but also because, despite the protracted length of the tornament, there were many good matches played.

The final was one of these. Sri Lanka, who for some odd reasons made four, not all forced, changes to their semifinal eleven were competitive thanks initially to Mahela Jaywardene's elegantly aggressive 103*/88b (13x4). Lasith Malinga's dismissals of Virender Sehwag 0 and Sachin Tendulkar 18 made India's road look rocky but then Gautam Gambhir 97/122b (9x4) and Virat Kohli 35/49b (4x4) steadied the ship before MS Dhoni took advantage of the second string bowlers to power his side home.

Dhoni's 91*/79b (2x6, 8x4) was the quintessential captain's knock. He hadn't had the best of tournaments with the bat but on this really big occasion backed himself to win, and did so imperiously. I'd sometimes thought he was an overrated cricketer, but no more.


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