Thursday, September 25, 2008

Celebrating 1st Anniversary Of India's T20 WC Win

Its been an year when on 24th September, 2007, a bunch of young Indian lads created history by winning the first ever Twenty-Twenty (T20) Cricket World Cup (WC). And the icing on the cake, the team that lost was the arch rivals Pakistan. Matches between these two nations are something more than just matches. The pride and honour of both countries are at stake and loss means facing humiliation back home. And this was even bigger. First ever WC Final between these two teams.

The shameful exit of both teams from 50-50 WC left the fans and the followers in the state of shock and anger. Criticism flew all over and the national heroes became national villians in one night. Media was behind them and the team members were scared even of making a public appereance. So after few months, when T20 WC started, nobody took them seriously. India, in particular made heavy changes as all the senior players were left out from the final 15. The captaincy was on the shoulders of the new, young and dynamic wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

India had a bumpy ride initially in the tournament match against Scotland was washed off due to rain forcing them to divide the points. Then came Pakistan in the league match and it finished as an nail biting tie. Although, India was this time lucky scrapping the match in the bowl-out.

India lost the first match in Super 8 to New Zealand and was facing the danger of elimination. But then came Yuvraj Singh as the saviour and butchered England resulting in our emphatic win. His record 12-ball 50 and 6 sixes in a single over will never be forgotten by Indian fans as well as Stuart Broad. Hosts South Africa was also defeated convincingly because of exceptional bowling performance by Indian boys.

And now we were in the Semi-finals and the furious Australia was between India and the berth in the Finals. Yuvraj again showed his class and heart with a blistering 30-ball 70. Bowlers also did a good job. Australia succummed to the defeat and a page in the history books was ready to be written as India and Pakistan were in the Finals.

Then the D-day came and as expected the heat and crunchness reached its peak. India finished off with a low score on a good looking pitch and it seemed as if the dream of 1 billion Indians will be shattered. Pakistan had a shaky but blazing start. Wickets fell on regular intervals but runs also came in plenty. After all the drama, Misbah-ul-Haq miscued a paddle sweep looking shot and Sreesanth made no mistake at the short fine leg. And YESSSSS !!!! we were the first ever T20 WC Champions. It was party and champagne all night and days to come for Indians. After all, everyone was proved wrong. Hats off !! to our heroes.

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