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India win by 29 runs to reach a dream home final in Mumbai, where they will face Sri Lanka to decide the World Cup! Shahid Afridi leads his team out to shake the hands of the victorious Indians, Pakistan can certainly hold their heads up high after their performances in this tournament. After they breezed through the group stages, with one blip against New Zealand, this was always going to be their biggest challenge. There was so much hype around this game, so much pressure on both teams, but there can be only one winner. Today, it was India.
You can’t blame Misbah’s slow start for Pakistan’s failure. He was always there to hold the batting together while other people hit out around him, but there was nothing substantial from the top order. Where Pakistan must really be disappointed is in their fielding. How much of a difference could it have made if they had held all their catches?
“This was almost like a final, whenever India and Pakistan play each other the pressure is always doubled,” says Harbhajan, somewhat superfluously.
Shahid Afridi, the winning captain, can still manage a smile which is nice to see. “First of all I’d like to congratulate the Indian cricket team and the Indian nation for this great victory, and wish them all the best fo the final,” he says, magnanimously. “Wahab really bowled well today, but we missed some opportunities. They played better than us. We didn’t make partnerships, we played some irresponsible shots, and a partnership was crucial. I want to say sorry to my nation. We tried our level best, and we enjoyed ourselves at this tournament.”
M S Dhoni looks very pleased. “We got off to a fantastic start through Sehwag and Sachin. As the game progressed the wicket got slower, and in the middle overs it was difficult to score. Shahid bowled really well, and it was important to just play the bowling with respect. 260 was a good score for this pitch. It was turning, we read the wicket wrong and that’s why we went with three seamers, but in the end the seamers bowled really well too. We don’t have bowlers who can bowl 140 plus, overall we really on what you might call deception – change of length, line and pace. Zaheer did really well, over the years with experience and in IPL and things like that he’s become really smart. We’ve struggled at times in this tournament, but that’s the beauty of this game.”
Man of the Match: Sachin Tendulkar, who’s played in every world cup game between India and Pakistan since 1992, is the Man of the Match. “First of all I’d like to thank everyone here for terrific support, without that this wouldn’t have been possible, and not to forget the whole team’s efforts today. We just had to make sure we got to a decent, fighting total. When we started I was thinking of 310 to 315, whch was par score for me, but the way the ball started stopping and spinning, something closer to 270 was par.
“Going back to Mumbai for this event is going to be a wonderful occasion, we’ve got to be calm and focussed. This has been memorable, and something I will cherish all through my life.”
And there you have it. Through 48 games, the teams in this World Cup have slowly been whittled down, and now only India and Sri Lanka remain. They will meet in the final, in Mumbai, on Saturday. With so much riding on this game, this was India’s biggest challenge of the tournament, and the build-up to the final could well feel low-key in comparison!
India won the 2nd Semi Final of ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 against Pakistan by 29 runs with one ball to spare on March 30, 2011 from Punjab Association Cricket Stadium, Mohali Chandigarh India.
Atlast India reached Final of ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, India bowled out Pakistan by 231 runs the Hero of the Indian Bowling is Harbhajan Singh because he took the two important wickets of Umar Akmal and Shahid Khan Afridi and all indian bowlers picked up two wickets.