April 2, 2011- The day will be etched as one of the greatest in the history of Indian cricket. MS Dhoni and Co lifted the World Cup after as long as 28 years. Gautam Gambhir’s 97 and the skipper’s unbeaten 91 scripted glory for the Men in Blue at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
It was a night to rejoice for the Indians around the world. But it wasn’t quite a happy day for the Lankan unit. They had lost their second World Cup final on the trot, the first one coming against Australia in the West Indies in 2007.
The Lankans tried to repeat their 1996 heroics, but their efforts didn’t work out. On the night, a number of records were made. While some of them made the headlines, a few of them didn’t quite bag the headlines. Delving deep into the historic match, there are some crucial facts, which one may not be aware of.
In the article, let’s take a look at three lesser-known facts about the 2011 World Cup Final: –
1. Muttiah Muralitharan’s last international game
Back in January 2011, Muttiah Muralitharan put forth his decision to retire after the mega event in India. It went without saying that in sub-continent conditions, the tweaker would be playing a crucial role for Sri Lanka.
He didn’t disappoint and picked up 15 wickets from nine matches and was the Islanders’ standout bowler by a country mile. On the back of his spells, Lanka qualified for the Final. Even as the focus was on India in Mumbai, Murali wasn’t expected to catch eyeballs, barring some masterful display of bowling.
Bearing in mind his prowess, the Indian took minimum risks against him. Though he gave away 39 runs at 4.87, he couldn’t make a single breakthrough. Murali picked 1,347 wickets for Lanka in his career, but that night in Mumbai wasn’t quite a notable one for him.
2. Mahela Jayawardena’s knock goes in vain
Prior to the World Cup, five players managed to score centuries in a World Cup final. Most importantly, each of them came in winning causes. However, the fortunes didn’t favour Mahela Jayawardena at the Wankhede. Coming in to bat with the score at 60 for two, Jayawardena carried on until the very end.
The veteran stayed unbeaten on 103 off 88 balls with the help of 13 fours. Despite having most factors against him, Mahela staved off the Indian bowling with grace and guided Lanka to 274 for six.
At one point in time, the Islanders were dealing in singles before Mahela upped the ante in the death overs. But to his dismay, his efforts went in vain. Lasith Malinga nipped out Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, but Lanka allowed India to get back into the contest.
3. Suraj Randiv makes his World Cup debut
In the final, the Lankans made four changes from their semi-final match. Suraj Randiv, the off-spinner, got a chance for the maiden time in the mega event. That remained to be the only match he played in a World Cup. He remains to be the only player to make a World Cup debut in a final.
The change didn’t quite work out as Randiv was unable to make any sort of impact in the contest. Though he gave 43 runs in his nine overs, he couldn’t stop the Indian batsmen from milking him in the middle overs.
After Malinga got the early wickets, it was up to Randiv to further tighten the screws, but he couldn’t. The fact that even Murali remained wicketless didn’t help Lanka’s cause by any means. Due to the lack of their penetration in bowling, India took the match away from them.
SportsInfo offers cricket, soccer, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, racing, basketball and other sports news, articles, videos, live coverage & live scores, player rankings & team rankings. Also, offers minute details of any match along with live commentary.
- Ranking top 10 most dependable Test batsmen of all-time
- Country-wise first ever man of the match in T20Is
- 10 ODI records that may never be broken
- ‘Oh bhai maaro mujhe’ – Fans troll official broadcaster SuperSport after they compare Rassie van der Dussen with Sachin Tendulkar
- Top 10 international cricket teams and their New Year Resolutions in 2021