India’s Thrilling Victory over Pakistan Propels Them to 2011 World Cup Final

India’s triumph in the semi-final against Pakistan in Mohali has set the stage for an intense World Cup final in 2011.

India’s hopes of winning the World Cup at home are getting closer as their bowlers shut down Pakistan’s batsmen in the Mohali semi-final, allowing them to win by a score of 29 runs.

India’s Thrilling Victory over Pakistan Propels Them to 2011 World Cup Final

Pakistan 231 (Misbah 56) lost to India 260 for 9 (Tendulkar 85, Riaz 5-46) by 29 runs.

India‘s hopes of winning the World Cup at home are getting closer as their bowlers shut down Pakistan’s batsmen in the semi-final in Mohali, allowing them to win by a margin of 29 runs. The match on Saturday will now be a contest between the hosts, and although Sri Lanka would have been taken aback by the potency of India’s bowling attack, they would also have noticed a somewhat lackluster batting display.

India’s 260 for 9 was sufficient in the end thanks to some excellent bowling from their bowlers, although the mark could have been much more achievable had Pakistan contributed more. While Wahab Riaz was incredibly impressive, taking five wickets, and MS Dhoni was dismissed once, Sachin Tendulkar was dropped four times in his eighty-five, while Umar Gul had one of his most forgettable days, withering under the pressure of a World Cup semi-final.

In a match that played up to the tremendous pre-match hype, India’s performance on the field, in contrast, was far more professional. On a pitch with lots of spin, it seemed strange to leave R Ashwin out to make place for Ashish Nehra. However, Nehra and his bowling teammates increased the pressure and left Pakistan’s batsmen with little to attack after they made a strong start and reached 70 for 1.

The Indians’ ability to keep together tight overs and dot balls was crucial to their victory as they didn’t give up an extra until the 37th over of the innings. While Yuvraj Singh took two wickets to make up for his golden duck, and Munaf Patel claimed two victims, Harbhajan Singh’s dismissal of Umar Akmal for 29 was the worst blow.

Yuvraj was hit by two sixes from Akmal, which took him over the sight screen and midwicket, respectively. With Yuvraj at the crease, anything might happen. However, Dhoni brought in Harbhajan to take Yuvraj’s place. Harbhajan came around the wicket with the first ball of his spell, pushing one past Akmal to take the off stump when the batsman went for the spin.

When he skied a catch off a full ball, Shahid Afridi also fell to Harbhajan, leaving the obstinate Misbah-ul-Haq to lead the chase. He struggled to pick up the pace and was out for 56 in the penultimate over after getting caught on the boundary. Despite using up 76 deliveries, he might have given Pakistan a chance if he had shown more intent early.

Pakistan’s hopes were dashed after their top order handed them a poor result. After making an encouraging forty-three, Munaf’s eight dot balls caused a brain lapse as Mohammad Hafeez attempted a planned paddle sweep from outside off stump and edged behind to Dhoni.

Asad Shafiq’s departure soon after ignited the Mohali crowd when he attempted to cut a ball from Yuvraj that was far too full and straight, resulting in the middle stump being pushed back. Up until that time, Shafiq had scored thirty and had maintained his composure, but Pakistan never recovered as the needed run-rate skyrocketed.

Also Read: Reliving the 2011 Cricket World Cup Final: India’s Triumph Led by Dhoni and Gambhir

India will play in the championship game, but they better hope they haven’t wasted all of their good fortune too soon. Even though Tendulkar is the best hitter of his generation, he had the best day of luck today, falling on 27, 45, 70, and 81. It appeared as though he might record one of his least impressive innings to mark his 100th international century.

He was first dismissed by Misbah at midwicket, and then Younis Khan let a good opportunity at cover fall to him, both off the bowling of Afridi. The next opportunity came when Kamran Akmal failed to shift his hands quickly enough to a thick edge, again off Afridi. Although it was a difficult situation, Umar should have been pulled at mid-on from Hafeez’s offspin.

India’s Thrilling Victory over Pakistan Propels Them to 2011 World Cup Final

Tendulkar had already survived two extremely close calls on 23 before he had any of those lives: an LBW call by Ian Gould that, upon review, turned out to be a spinning down leg, and a near-stumping on the following delivery when he barely managed to get his back foot down in time after losing his balance reaching outside off. Pakistan was clearly relieved when Tendulkar was eventually captured at cover by Afridi off the bowling of Ajmal.

Shortly after, an untidy Dhoni, who was also dropped by Kamran, erred by questioning Simon Taufel’s lbw call. When Dhoni failed to catch a Riaz delivery that pitched perfectly in line and struck the stumps, he was on 25. Taufel had already given Virender Sehwag leg before wicket in a manner akin to this one, despite the fact that the left-armer’s angle suggested he may pitch outside leg. This was his second brilliant call.

India got off to a fast start, reaching 114 for 1 off their first 18 overs, but Afridi had to thank Riaz for keeping Pakistan in the match. After Hafeez stumped Gautam Gambhir while he was ambling down the pitch, Riaz took two wickets in as many balls: Yuvraj was bowled for a golden duck with a low full toss, and Virat Kohli was caught at backward point.

Sehwag, who took 21 off Gul (0 for 69) from the third over of the innings, appeared to be the most fluid batsman at the crease. After they were helped by Suresh Raina to recover from their middle-order mistakes, what appeared to be a total of more over 300 in those early overs was reduced to 260.

Although it was sufficient, India’s batters still have room for improvement if they are to win the trophy on Saturday. They might dream of their first World Cup in 28 years for the time being.

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