ON THIS DAY IN 2007: It has been 15 years since that fateful evening of September 24, 2007. But that day is still etched in the memory of every Indian cricket fan. MS Dhoni-led Team India defeated Pakistan against all odds to triumph in the inaugural edition of the ICC T20 World Cup on this day in 2007.
India entered the tournament with a very young side. Star players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble had decided to skip the tournament. In fact India had played only one T20I before the 2007 T20 World Cup. Almost no one backed the unfancied Team India to go all the way.
The BCCI picked MS Dhoni to lead India in the showpiece event. With an enigmatic leader at the helm, Team India registered its greatest triumph since the 1983 World Cup win.
Team India suffered an early exit from the ICC ODI World Cup which was held earlier that year. Fans were hugely disappointed with their team and some had even lost interest.
As India progressed in the 2007 edition of World T20, fans started to pay attention. The young turks of Team India led by a confident Dhoni caught the imagination of the public.
Defying expectations, Team India made its way into the final after recording famous wins over the likes of Australia, South Africa and England.
In the final, India won the toss and elected to bat first in the high-pressure game. Riding on the back of Gautam Gambhir’s stellar knock of 75 runs off just 54 balls, India put up a competitive total of 157 on the board.
While chasing a tricky target of 158, Pakistan suffered an early blow when key batsman Mohammad Hafeez was dismissed in the first over. With wickets falling at regular intervals, Misbah-ul-Haq played a blistering knock in a high-pressure situation. The calm and composed Misbah almost took his side across the line single-handedly.
In the end, Pakistan required 13 runs in the final over with one wicket in hand. It seemed over for India when Misbah smacked the second ball of the last over for a six. However, a lapse in judgment saw Misbah try and finish the match with a scoop shot. He mistimed his scoop shot and handed an easy catch to Sreesanth off the bowling of Joginder Sharma. The rest, as they say, is history. In the following years, MS Dhoni formed a formidable side in limited-overs cricket which went on to lift the ICC ODI World Cup in 2011.
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