India defeated Sri Lanka to win the 2011 Cricket World Cup on Saturday in Mumbai. (Scroll down for video highlights and photos.) The victory marked India's first cricket world cup title in 28 years and followed against archrival Pakistan.
India was also able to avenge in the 1996 World Cup. 'It's the ultimate thing and I'm experiencing it,' said Indian great Sachin Tendulkar. 'I couldn't have asked for anything better.
It's the proudest moment of my life.' The meaning of the victory for India, a nation of: India was desperate for this victory; the humiliation of the Commonwealth Games corruption scandal was still fresh; the country's recent diplomatic successes – not least towards a permanent seat on the UN Security Council – has been overshadowed by fresh concerns about its aspiration to be regarded as a first world nation. To see the full scorecard for the match from ESPN,. WATCH: Vote on the most memorable photos from during and after the cricket match, including fan reactions.
WRAP: I don't think anybody could seriously dispute that India were the best team in the tournament. Whatever challenge was thrown their way, whether it was the Australians, the Pakistanis or the Sri Lankans, the remarkable MS Dhoni and his team were equal to it. The batting, naturally has been excellent, but you don't win World Cups without a decent attack, and India's has functioned as a cogent unit. Zaheer and Harbhajan may be the spearheads, but they've been supported ably by the likes of Ashwin, Munaf, Ashish Nehra and Yuvraj Singh. India have had the knack of taking wickets at key times, and if you win the key periods, you tend to win cricket games. The fielding has been superb, the tactics shrewd.
India 2011 world cup final winning moment. I felt god gifted as india won d world cup as iam an indian, and. May 27, 2016 Here are the Highlights of World Cup 2011 Final, Which is played between India and Sri Lanka at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
The test for this Indian side now is to make it stick, to dominate not only all forms of the game, but in every country too. This may be a wonderful moment, but the challenge of retaining their trophy in Australia in 2015 begins now. All right, tomorrow morning.
18.35 'It means the world to me,' says Harbhajan Singh. 'I've been part of three World Cups, and it's the biggest thing. For all the Indian people, in India or anywhere in the world, this cup is for them.' Virat Kohli adds: 'Tendulkar's carried the burden of the nation for 21 years, it's about time we carried him on our shoulders.
It's a wonderful feeling right now. This World Cup goes out to the people of India.' It probably won't. Some BCCI mandarin will probably take it home and store pot pourri in it. 18.31 Now Gary Kirsten's being raised aloft!
Virat Kohli doing the donkey work. This is Kirsten's triumph as much as it is anybody's.
You could well argue that India have the world's most talented squad of cricketers. But that's been the case for many years now.
What Kirsten did was to mould this collection - this menagerie - of superemely talented individuals into a coherent, world-beating whole. Not a detail has been overlooked. Not a practice session has been foregone. No longer are India regarded as one of the most talented, least prepared teams in world cricket. For that, Kirsten deserves the credit. 18.29 Mohan Tanneeru emails in from Hyderabad: 'Like I said, the team did it for themselves, Mr Tendulkar and billions of Indians. And what a game.
Well played Lankan Lions. All I can hear in Hyderabad now is firecrackers going off all around.'
God, I wish I was Indian right now. 18.27 As Tendulkar continues to be raised aloft, euphoria is gradually giving way to emotion. 'They'll be friends for life,' Ian Chappell says. 'They've shared in something very special.' Chris Gayle on Twitter: 'Congratulation in orders India!!!
Well Played Sri Lanka!!! Sweet Azz Final!!! Drinks on me.' 18.26 What a moment for India, one that will resonate in every country in the world. But the biggest celebration of all will be tonight in Mumbai, where Sachin Tendulkar is currently being carried around the field on the shoulders of his team-mates. To be fair, he's not the heaviest of cricketers, Sachin.
I noticed nobody was offering to carry David Boon on their shoulders when he decided to call it a day. 18.22 Harbhajan's in tears! Sreesanth, leave Bhajji alone. 18.21 Tendulkar's gone off piste! He's charging around, whooping for joy, hugging everyone he can see, looking as animated as I've ever seen him.
After a career lasting over two decades, he's finally won the biggest prize in the game. Firework alert! IND 277/4 INDIA WIN BY SIX WICKETS AND WIN THE 2011 WORLD CUP The ball disppears over long on! Where does it land?
Nobody knows! A Gift Of Fire 3rd Edition. Before it's buried itself in the stand, the Indian players are running onto the field!
The flashbulbs are popping! Mumbai explodes! India are world champions! 48.1 271/4 Yuvraj carves it to point for a quick single. OVER 48: IND 270/4 Dhoni 85* Yuvraj 20* Malinga in again, the tireless lion roaring in for one final effort. Yuvraj drives his first out to deep extra cover for a single.
Down the leg side next - I'm afraid to say it's all going wrong for Sri Lanka - and Dhoni could have left it for a wide, but instead turns it round the corner, wide of fine leg, and away for four! And the next one goes for four, too!
Malinga tried a slower ball, and Dhoni virtually swept it around the corner, an astonishing shot, and again fine leg didn't have a chance. Malinga then nutmegs Dhoni as he backs away, and the ball flies through to Sangakkara. Dhoni chops into the off-side for one more, to bring the target within one hit. And the last ball of the over is flicked by Yuvraj down to long-on for a single. Two overs left, five runs to win, and the crowd are now jumping up and down, their every neuron itching to get the party started. OVER 47: IND 259/4 Dhoni 76* Yuvraj 18* Yuvraj tries to smash the cover off the first ball, but it's well pitched up, and he can only dig it out to long on for a single. The next one's full and outside off stump, and Dhoni smashes it past mid-off for four, four, four!
Dhoni then digs out the next, sends it hurtling back past Kulasekara and down to long-on for a single. There's actually a review as Simon Taufel wants to check whether Dhoni had his bat grounded when the throw came in, but he's fine.
Full toss next, and Yuvraj swings it away for four! They're getting closer!
17 needed off 20! Yuvraj gives the next the full back, sack and crack, but it flies straight to cover, and there's no run. The last ball is another full toss, and Yuvraj chips it safely down to long on for another single. Eleven - eleven runs - from that over. Malinga's good work from the last over undone.
India need 16 from 18 balls. OVER 46: IND 248/4 Dhoni 71* Yuvraj 12* Malinga starts with a slower ball, and Yuvraj can only push it to short extra cover. The next one's wide off the off stump, and Yuvraj slashes and misses. Again slower from Malinga, Yuvraj drops it into the off side and sets off a run, but Dhoni sends him back. Three dot balls. Four dot balls, as Yuvraj can only defend a straight delivery. He gets the next one away, though!
Through mid-wicket and they hurry back for two runs. Firm drive back past Malinga off the last ball of the over, and Tharanga comes in from long-on to keep them down to a single. A stunning over by Malinga under the circumstances, just three off it, and India now need 27 from 24 balls.
Still not in the bag this, by any stretch of the imagination. What a finish to a World Cup final! Who's going to bowl the last over?
It's Kulasekara! What a moment this is! Will India try and launch him over the top? This next over could decide the fate of the trophy. OVER 45: IND 245/4 Dhoni 71* Yuvraj 8* Five singles from Randiv's over, and Sri Lanka look as though they're running out of ideas here.
Five overs remaining; they will be Powerplay overs, and Lasith Malinga, who has three overs left, will bowl the first of them. 30 needed off 30 balls as Yuvraj takes strike. SRI LANKA REVIEW (Yuvraj) Randiv's up for LBW! They're all up! It looked pretty straight, but Aleem Dar gave it not out.
Sri Lanka have no option but to review, but the replay shows a big inside edge from Yuvraj! Not out remains the decision! UMPIRE REVIEW (Dhoni) Direct hit!
Sri Lanka think they've got him! It's going to be mighty close. It's one of those where he's out in one frame and in in the next.
And I don't think they can give him out on this evidence. No, not out, and you probably heard the roar from your living room.
OVER 44: IND 240/4 Dhoni 69* Yuvraj 6* Great shot! Wondrous shot at this stage of the game! Short from Perera - he's been warned about that - and Dhoni upper cuts it over, backward point, over deep backward point, over the rope, for six runs!
That's the first six of the innings, and it may well have sealed the deal for India. Perera almost cleans him up next ball, but Dhoni's inside edge cannons into his pad and runs away for a single, although Dhoni has to hurry to make his ground.
Yuvraj nudges another single - he's been calmness personified so far - and the over costs eight. Pravin Rajakumar writes: 'For the past two games Suresh Raina's innings were invaluable for india, although he didn't get much credit. I predict he will be the man. As they say about Alan Shearer: 'Cometh the hour, cometh the man'. But what do I know, I've been backing Holland to win every World Cup and European Championship since 1992, and Newcastle to win the league since 1993.' 35 needed off 36 balls. OVER 43: IND 232/4 Dhoni 62* Yuvraj 5* Randiv hops in for another over.
'Congratulations India!' Writes Robert Dumsday. How many chickens then, Robert? Seeing as you're in the business of counting them.
Dhoni pushes down the ground for a single. Yuvraj works it through the leg-side for another, as a short extra cover comes in for the new batsman. Another single, and then Randiv leaks it down the leg-side, it flicks Yuvraj's pad and runs away for a couple of leg byes. Five from the over, and India need 43 from 42 balls. OVER 42: IND 227/4 Dhoni 60* Yuvraj 4* Do Sri Lanka believe they can pull this off? Still Raina to come after this, remember, but after that not a great deal in the way of batting. A slip comes in for the new batsman as Sangakkara whacks his gloves together, exhorting his charges to make one final push.
Yuvraj begins watchfully, playing out three dot balls, but the last ball is short, Yuvraj sees it early, and whips it well in front of square for four to ease the tension! Disappointing final delivery from Perera, who was close to making his first over back a wicket maiden. 48 required from 48 balls, and we're going to see another ball change. Gambhir b Perera 97 (122) IND 223/4 Oh, what a shame! Gambhir trudges back disconsolately after a wonderful innings! It was dead straight from Perera, bowling over the wicket to the left-hander, and as Gambhir backed away to try and make room for a cut, he simply missed the ball and it knocked back his middle stump. A huge ovation for Gambhir, who's taken his side to the brink of victory but failed to see his team home or himself to a century.
Yuvraj Singh is the new batsman. Is there still a twist in this game? OVER 41: IND 223/3 Gambhir 97* Dhoni 60* Randiv's been one of Sri Lanka's better bowlers this evening, actually.
Bowling to Gambhir, he's getting the ball to bite from around a middle-and-leg stump line, so Gambhir can't flick him to leg with any confidence unless Randiv really spears it down the leg side. Which he does there, and Gambhir can take an easy single to move to 97. Full toss from Randiv, which Dhoni can only drill straight back. Just two off the over, then, and the equation is 52 from 54 balls.
OVER 40: IND 221/3 Gambhir 96* Dhoni 59* Just as it all went wrong for Tendulkar earlier, Murali's powers seem to be deserting him at the point when they would have been of greatest service. A big leg-side wide that Sangakkara does well to stop going for five, and then Dhoni smites him through extra cover for four, threading the ball in between the man at cover and the fielder running round at long-off. Just the latest in a series of excellent strokes from the Indian captain. Gambhir then nudges the ball straight to backward point, Kapugedera misfields and allows a single, and then his throw runs away for an overthrow. Two runs from a ball that should have produced none. A piqued Muralitharan demands an explanation.
Kapugedera doesn't have one. Oh dear, oh dear. 54 needed off the last ten overs as Randiv returns. Dhoni's taken the helmet off now to reveal a forehead dripping with sweat. OVER 39: IND 210/3 Gambhir 93* Dhoni 52* Malinga's searching for those yorkers. Gambhir and Dhoni keep them out, and take a single each. Gambhir digs out another, and a huge piece flies off the toe of his bat.
There's a slight hiatus as Gambhir waits for a replacement bat to be brought out, before he runs one down to third man for another single. Another single to Dhoni and another to Gambhir, either side of a leg-side wide. 65 off 66 balls, and you sense it's just slipping away from Sri Lanka here.
'What happens if they tie?' Asks Andrew Clark.
'Is there even a tie in cricket? This is rather exciting.' If the scores are tied, we go to a Super Over.
Each side picks three batsmen and one bowler and they get one over each to score as many as they can. If you lose two wickets, you're all out. OVER 38: IND 204/3 Gambhir 90* Dhoni 50* Big moment, this. Muralitharan's coming back. It's hard to believe we won't see him trotting in again for Sri Lanka, won't see that wily little action, the arm coming over not quite straight, but within 15 degrees, those huge goggly eyes fixed on their target. Gloucestershire fans are in for a treat when he comes to play for them later this summer.
Well, this really is it for Sri Lanka. Malinga and Murali in operation. If Sri Lanka don't get a wicket now, they're sunk. Dhoni knocks the ball into the off-side for two, which he follows with a single. Gambhir nudges the ball to mid-wicket for another single, which brings up the 200.
But Muralitharan's last is short and sits up for hitting, and Dhoni crunches it hard through the covers for four! That's a huge blow for Sri Lanka, and it's Dhoni's fifty. He's in such a cocoon of concentration that he didn't even realise until the crowd noise alerted him to it. 71 needed off 72 balls as Malinga steams in again. OVER 37: IND 196/3 Gambhir 89* Dhoni 43* Dhoni shoves Malinga's first through the covers for two runs. You can't envisage either batsman taking much of a risk against Malinga, possibly the one man who can still win this game in one fell swoop.
Short from Malinga, and Dhoni plays this one bravely, swivelling it down behind square and again coming back for the second. The big yorker's coming, mark my words. There it is, and Dhoni squirts it between his legs and down through backward square leg for another single. Five off the over, India need 79 off 78 balls, but the plot thickens. Dhoni's struggling with cramp. He's lying prone on the turf at the moment, while the Indian physio tries to do whatever it is you do when someone gets cramp. Dhoni gets rather gingerly to his feet, and obviously he's going to bat on.
It's not really the best time for the captain to be putting his feet up, to be honest. Michael Vaughan on Twitter: 'India are chasing these runs with supreme ease. The party of all parties will be starting soon.'
OVER 36: IND 191/3 Gambhir 89* Dhoni 38* Another fine shot from Dhoni! Short and wide from Randiv, and he cuts it hard in front of square for four! The crowd roar, but not as loudly as they were earlier.
The sheer tension of the situation appears to have frozen everyone comatose. You daren't move a muscle. Dhoni's definitely picked out the extra cover region, and bunts another couple of runs in that area. Eight off the over, and India are right on track now. 84 off 84 balls, and Kumar Sangakkara has just hit the 'gamble' button. Back into the attack comes Lasith Malinga, with Sri Lanka now fundamentally desperate for a wicket.
OVER 35: IND 183/3 Gambhir 88* Dhoni 31* Short from Kulasekara, and Gambhir smashes it over mid-wicket for four! He was looking for that gap, and when the opportunity arose he committed fully to the shot, swinging hard and just about clearing the man in the circle. Gambhir's looking very assured indeed now, and he drives the last ball down to long-off for an easy single.
We're 15 overs from the end of the World Cup, and we still have no idea who's going to win it. 92 runs needed. This is going to be a storming finish, whatever happens. It's all we could have asked for. OVER 34: IND 175/3 Gambhir 83* Dhoni 29* On comes Randiv. He's bowled fairly decently, actually, and out of all the bowlers so far he's managed to extract the most assistance from the pitch.
Gambhir gets down on one knee and tries to paddle sweep over his shoulder. The ball flies down to short fine leg, Murali hobbles in from the boundary, Gambhir spots who's doing the fielding and confidently makes it back for a second. India need exactly 100 with 96 balls remaining. It'll be close, but you sense India have just edged their noses in front here.
The partnership is now a very handy 61 from 74 balls. Derek Pringle on Twitter: 'Sanga's field settings allowing India too many easy singles - no pressure being created other than by the expectations of the nation' OVER 33: IND 170/3 Gambhir 79* Dhoni 23* The camera focuses on a group of around 15 Australian fans, all bedecked in gold shirts. They look as though they're enjoying themselves, but they'll have a terrible shock tomorrow when they realise Australia weren't playing. Kulasekara returns, and concedes five runs from his over.
105 needed from 102 balls. Let's just do a few sums. Seventeen overs left.
Malinga has five to bowl; Muralitharan four. The other eight overs, I feel, are going to decide this World Cup.
Kulasekara has four more, but you wouldn't want him within fifty yards of a Powerplay, not with the nice, juicy length he bowls. Perera has three - I wouldn't turn to him either - Randiv has six, and Dilshan has five. I'd give Dilshan a few, because of his experience if nothing else, but you get some sense of the scale of Sangakkara's problem. By the time Malinga comes on to bowl the last five, this game could already be gone. OVER 32: IND 165/3 Gambhir 79* Dhoni 23* Another fabulous shot by Dhoni!
I tell you what, the look of intense concentration in his eyes really is quite something. He's properly in the zone. This was a touch short by Perera, but at this stage the kind of ball that you simply knock down to deep point for a single.
Dhoni picks it up early enough to step across and smash it well in front of square, down to deep extra cover for four! I'm not entirely sure Perera's the right choice here, but what can Sangakkara do? Only Malinga and Muralitharan have really looked like stymieing the flow of runs so far, and they have to be saved for the closing stages. Seven off the over, and Perera gets a tad lucky as he chucks down a rank full toss that startles Dhoni a little, and he can only push it back down the pitch. 110 needed off 108 balls as the players take drinks. OVER 31: IND 157/3 Gambhir 77* Dhoni 17* Ah, what a shot that is by Dhoni!
It's not all that short from Muralitharan, but it doesn't turn a great deal either, and Dhoni can simply stand tall, use Murali's round-the-wicket angle, and muscle it through the covers for four. That's a seriously good shot to a fairly decent delivery. Siddharth Vaidyanathan has emailed back to let me know that he is not the famous cricket writer, just an ordinary joe who gets a bit frustrated when he Googles his own name. OVER 30: IND 151/3 Gambhir 76* Dhoni 12* Perera returns. Dhoni clips the ball behind square and does well to race back for a second. Another single follows. Dhoni always looks so unflappable, doesn't he?
He's the kind of guy you want delivering bad news. Gambhir scampers a leg bye to bring up the 150, and that wakes the crowd up a little. Another single to Dhoni off the last, five off the over, and both sides will be fairly satisfied with that.
Right, 124 needed off the last 20 overs. Unbelievably tense, this. OVER 29: IND 146/3 Gambhir 76* Dhoni 8* Just the one over for Malinga before Muralitharan is restored to the attack. 'What sort of pace are the Indians on?' Asks Andrew Clark. 'Will they come close?' If the Indians bat flawlessly, they could win this relatively easily.
Assuming they merely bat well, I reckon this could get incredibly close. A couple of quick wickets, though, and it's hard to see the lower order pulling it off. Still plenty of batting to come for India, though, and the run rate's still within range. Xerox And Illumination Xi Download. India's approach over the last few overs could best be summarised as 'watchful with the odd splash of caprice'.
They're still trying to belt the bad ball, but they're not busting a gut trying to clear the ropes with so many singles still on offer. Four singles from Muralitharan's over. OVER 28: IND 142/3 Gambhir 74* Dhoni 6* Well might we hope, Virgil. When was the last time we saw a really good World Cup final? 2003 was exhilarating, but rarely, if at all, was the result in doubt. Sri Lanka in 1996 was a slow burner, but De Silva's clinical finishing did have an air of inevitability about it. There's no such certainty here.
Gambhir flicks Dilshan for two through mid-wicket, before dancing down the pitch and trying to strike him over the top and getting an inside edge that Sangakkara can't react to in time! The ball scuttles down to fine leg for four. Eight off the over, and India need 133 off 132 balls. Michael Vaughan on Twitter: '135 for 3. 23 overs to go. Could be an absolute classic.'
OVER 27: IND 134/3 Gambhir 67* Dhoni 5* Malinga returns at a crucial stage of the game. A little flurry of wickets from him could well decide the game.
Gambhir and Dhoni swap singles, and has Malinga found a little touch of reverse swing here? You don't tend to get a great deal at Mumbai, but if you can just get it to tail an inch, at Malinga's pace that's often all you need. You sense the big yorker is coming.
And Gambhir squeezes it away off the edge for four! That's the first boundary for five overs! 'This match is poised nicely,' Siddharth Vaidyanathan writes. The Siddharth Vaidyanathan? One of India's most respected cricket writers?
He continues: 'Dhoni promoted himself up the order to maintain the left/right combination, and because Yuvraj and Raina are seen as good finishers. He's also taking on the responsibility of shepherding the team through the innings. Inactive neurons indeed are becoming more active - unfortunate for Kohli, but Gambhir has played a gem here.' OVER 26: IND 128/3 Gambhir 62* Dhoni 4* Charles Rycroft writes: 'Wondering when was the last time Sehwag and Sachin had a combined score of less than 20 - and is this why April is indeed the cruellest month?' I'm sorry, the reference is lost on me.
Shamefully, I've read hardly any of the so-called 'classics' of literature. We were made to read a little at school, but at quite an early stage I discovered that you could simply watch the TV adaptation and get the whole book in only an hour.
To this day, when someone asks me what I think of Great Expectations, I'm apt to answer: 'Great costumes.' Four singles off Dilshan's over - you haven't missed one of the all-time great overs there - and my colleague Ed Ballard identifies 'April is the cruellest month' as the first line of TS Eliot's The Wasteland. Not watched that one, actually.
OVER 25: IND 124/3 Gambhir 60* Dhoni 2* Murali may not be bounding in as enthusiastically as he's used to, he may not be rotating those hips as vigorously as normal, but by George, he can still do a job. Just two runs off that over. Neither Gambhir nor Dhoni (nor Kohli, when he was in) really looked to attack Muralitharan. OVER 24: IND 122/3 Gambhir 59* Dhoni 1* Hang on. Why did Dhoni come in rather than Yuvraj? I'd rather overlooked that. Whoever it is at the crease, it's imperative that India keep the runs ticking even as they rebuild.
That required rate's just threatening to poke its head above the run-a-ball mark. Five runs off Dilshan's over. Vikram Singh Chauhan warms to the medical theme: 'My sympathetic overdrive (on seeing Virat and Gambhir bat) has caused my pulse to exceed 120 beats/minute, regular rhythm, high volume (almost reminiscent of severe aortic regurgitation). I fear that I might just have a cerebral intraparenchymal rupture at this rate. In which case, the neurons in the grey and white matter outside of the area of haemorrhage will have to become more active. I'm worried.'
Note to all my readers: I love you all. But especially you, Vikram Singh Chauhan. OVER 23: IND 117/3 Gambhir 55* Dhoni 0* We're yet to see any real magic from Muralitharan. He's coming in from around the wicket, getting some decent turn but struggling to hit a consistent length. Dhoni tries to shove away a full delivery on leg stump, and gets a leg bye - he's still yet to get off the mark - and Gambhir, upon whom so much now rests, cuts a short delivery out to the point boundary for another single.
OVER 22: IND 115/3 Gambhir 54* Dhoni 0* And Dhoni's almost stumped first ball! He plays and misses, Sangakkara can't take it cleanly, and Dhoni had just dragged his back foot out of the crease! The batsmen run a bye and Dhoni keeps the strike. Has that wicket turned the game Sri Lanka's way again?
Stay tuned to this one, I'd wager there's a few more twists in this yet. Kohli c&b Dilshan 35 (49) IND 114/3 Oh, crucial wicket! Out of nothing!
Absolutely nothing! A wonderful return catch by Dilshan, who was brought back to break this partnership and hasn't disappointed! Kohli tries to flick a fairly full delivery to leg, gets a leading edge, and it flies to Dilshan's right, almost straight at non-striker Gambhir.
Instinctively, Gambhir got out of the way, but he probably thought it would go for runs. Instead, Dilshan leapt to his right and plucked the ball out of the air with one hand! Brilliant catch! OVER 21: IND 109/2 Gambhir 53* Kohli 31* Archana Venkatraman enjoyed my Lancet over. 'Now,' he asks, 'could we see some PG Wodehouse-style updates, or even Shakespearean-style? That could be fun.' Is this a half-tracker I see before me.
I was on the other week, actually, and one of their commentators, Dan Norcross, often does entire overs in the style of Winston Churchill. It's hilarious. Just four singles from Muralitharan's over. OVER 20: IND 105/2 Gambhir 51* Kohli 29* Really big turn from Randiv - more than Muralitharan managed in his first over, and Gambhir's playing him watchfully. But after taking a single, Randiv strays onto Kohli's pads, and gets flicked very fine down to Malinga at fine leg, who runs round, puts the dive in, and dives straight over it! At what point does Sangakkara start to worry? None of his bowlers have really looked like stopping the flow of runs, and the run rate is still very manageable indeed.
'With Randiv's length of name, if he was ever ill in hospital, by the time the doctors had written his name he would have snuffed it,' observes Peter Rowntree. OVER 19: IND 99/2 Gambhir 50* Kohli 24* Here's Murali! He may be hobbling in on half a leg, but nobody could possibly begrudge him a place on the biggest stage of all. What can he do?
He starts with a dot ball. Gambhir then knocks the ball into the off-side and hurries back for two. He could be in trouble here! The throw comes in to Sangakkara, who fumbles it! Heads on hands for Sri Lanka there, Gambhir was full-length on the dive and from the looks of the Sri Lankan fielders, he was struggling. Gambhir turns one to mid-wicket to bring up a fine fifty, off just 56 balls. Decent turn for Murali, and that's a steady start.
Just three off his first over. OVER 18: IND 96/2 Gambhir 47* Kohli 24* Gambhir goes big! Randiv has just been floating them down rather, and this time he picks a decent length ball, gets down on one knee, and slaps it over mid-wicket for four! One bounce and over the rope! He follows up with a single down to mid-wicket, and there are another five runs off that over. OVER 17: IND 91/2 Gambhir 42* Kohli 24* Here's Dilshan coming on for his first bowl.
He begins with a big wide down the leg side - ooof, that's horrible - and it cannons off Sangakkara's pads for three wides. It's a fairly tight over, though, just five runs coming from it. Where's your money now?
Can anyone even attempt to answer that question until Murali's had a bowl? OVER 16: IND 86/2 Gambhir 41* Kohli 23* It will be observed, from the unimpeded rotation of the shoulder joint as Patient Randiv shuffles towards the bowling crease, that he is a bowler of the off-break variety, between 25 and 27 years of age. He does, however, suffer from acute shortness of length at times, which allows a batsman such as Virat Kohli to cut away to deep point for a single. However, when the patient adjusted his length to the left-handed Gambhir, a similar result was observed - a single, tucked off his tibial region. If, instead, we observe a later movement of the cut stroke from the batsman - a 'late cut', if you will, then the ball will tend to run away at a finer angle, down to third man for two runs. OVER 15: IND 81/2 Gambhir 40* Kohli 19* Perera ruins a perfectly functional over by spraying it down the leg side, and Gambhir's far too good a player to miss out on that, flicking it away fine for four! The fifty partnership comes up off 53 balls, and India's fans could hardly have asked for a better response to those two early wickets.
40 runs came off the fielding Powerplay. Now, Shwetha Jain writes in with an analogy that's really far too highbrow for this humble, Dan-Brown-level live blog. 'With the two important wickets, we have lost hope, but wait. It's just not Sachin and Sehwag's World Cup. In a nervous system, when certain neurons get damaged, the neighbouring neurons become more active to compensate for the inactivity. Now we will see if the other neurons take up the responsibility.' Good grief, Shwetha.
Are you sure you didn't stumble onto The Lancet's World Cup live blog by mistake? The next over wil be delivered in the style of The Lancet. OVER 14: IND 72/2 Gambhir 33* Kohli 17* Michael Hands writes: 'Jonathan, we're into the 13th over and you're still in 11. Please type faster.'
No, Michael, please read slower. He's a fairly orthodox off-break bowler, Randiv - think of him as an exotically-named James Tredwell. His full name is Hewa Kaluhalamullage Suraj Randiv Kaluhalamulla, which probably explains why he's so rarely picked for the side. That's not the kind of name you want to have to read out in front of a roomful of people. Is that a drop? It is, but it's awfully harsh on Kulasekara to put it against his name. Gambhir backed away and tried to lift it into the crowd, but watched in horror as it sailed in the direction of Kulasekara at long-off.
He closed in on the ball, but as it died, just couldn't quite get his hands underneath it. Gambhir gets a life - he would have been put in the stocks if he'd perished like that - and four runs come from the over. OVER 13: IND 68/2 Gambhir 30* Kohli 16* Perera given another over.
Where on earth is our Murali? Perera bowls another generally OK over spoilt by a couple of leg-side wides.
Kohli nudges the ball into mid-wicket and hurries back for two to bring the total for the over to seven. Now, we're going to see our first spin of the innings, but calm yourself, it's only Suresh Randiv. It's a bit like waiting for a Led Zeppelin concert to begin, the lights going down, and then seeing The Script walk onto the stage. OVER 12: IND 61/2 Gambhir 28* Kohli 13* Kulasekara's just trying to hang the ball a little wider outside Gambhir's off-stump, trying to induce him into an airy drive.
Gambhir finds the gap there and picks up a single, another single to Kohli, and then Gambhir launches one! He makes a little room and smashes the ball through the covers - at a catchable height, but safe. Gambhir just looks to be warming up now, and he moves to 28 off 36 balls. The last one's short from Kulasekara, and Kohli top-edges the hook round the cover for four more! After a spell of just nine runs in five overs, India have stormed back with 26 in the last three. OVER 11: IND 50/2 Gambhir 22* Kohli 8* Doraiswami Ramkrishna writes: 'Jonathan: your website claims renewal every minute but it does not seem to be so!'
Why do I feel like a used car salesman who's just flogged someone an L-reg Escort with a dodgy gearbox? The website's not wrong, Doraiswami - it does update every 60 seconds, it's just that I don't. Gambhir comes down the track to Perera and flicks the ball superbly through mid-wicket for four.
Perera pulls his length back and Gambhir stands up and flicks it off his hip for two more. Kohli on strike now, and aw, that's a bit mean. He knows Murali's struggling with his groin, so he hits the ball straight to him at mid-on and runs an easy single. Murali strains his creaking joints to get to the ball, but he misses it completely, and the batsmen can scamper a second. Shame on you, Virat Kohli. That's no way to treat one of the greatest chuckers in the history of cricket.
Nine off the over. OVER 10: IND 41/2 Gambhir 15* Kohli 6* Kohli's away. It took him 11 balls, but that was worth the wait, a sublime little flick off his pads for four as Kulasekara strays in line a tad. Kohli then chops him through backward point for two more, and he's perfectly happy to play out the rest of the over.
He really is in this for the long haul, is Kohli. End of the tenth over, and Sri Lanka immediately take the fielding Powerplay. OVER 9: IND 35/2 Gambhir 15* Kohli 0* Perera returns from the other end.
Gambhir nudges him behind point for a couple, but Sri Lanka have applied the brakes very nicely here. It's normally far too early to be worrying about run rate, but India do need to keep an eye out, as it's nudging towards a run a ball already. Just two from that over. 'Yes, it is sad to see Mr Tendulkar walk off in agony in possibly his last World Cup innings,' writes Mohan Tanneeru.
'Now it will be up to his team to win it for him, and what a tribute would it be. I hope they do and I think they can do it.' OVER 8: IND 33/2 Gambhir 13* Kohli 0* A big hello to everyone in Jabalpur, from where Vikram Singh Chauhan writes: 'It seems like the 1992 final revisited. The burst in the final overs by the side batting first to put up a daunting total, and the early loss of an opener for the side batting second. It looks very much like SL have it in the bag, what with India's famously brittle batting line-up and SL's famously hard-to-get-away bowling.' Huge pressure on Virat Kohli's shoulders as Kulasekara comes back into the attack. Gambhir nudges away a single through mid-wicket, but Kohli can't get off the mark from any of his four balls, and there is just one run from the over.
Only seven runs from the last four overs. So, how do you become the world's number one bowler despite having only taken two four-wicket hauls in eight years? Relentless accuracy.
Kulasekara's run to world number one came off the back of a couple of outstanding series in 2009 against. Um, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, when he barely went for more than two runs an over. So he's a simple, wicket-to-wicket, line-and-length merchant. Best bowler in the world, though?
Give me a break. He's slipped down to fifth since then, but still. OVER 7: IND 32/2 Gambhir 12* Kohli 0* It was Malinga's strange angle of delivery that did for Tendulkar. His right arm comes over from almost directly in line with middle stump, so when the ball pitches outside off, as it did there, it actually moves further away towards the off-side the further it travels. Tendulkar failed to account for this when he drove at the ball, which explains why it took the edge despite not deviating in the pitch or the air. A simple misjudgement by Tendulkar.
Virat Kohli in now. Malinga bowls a wide, but Kohli can't get off the mark.
Tendulkar c Sangakkara b Malinga 18 (14) IND 31/2 Malinga stares straight into the eyes of Destiny and gives it a swift kick in the nuts! Tendulkar wafts at a wider one from Malinga outside the off stump, gets a huge outside edge, and Sangakkara tumbles to his right to take the catch! Unbridled joy from the Sri Lankan fielders, who run in wild circles as if they've just dismissed Sachin Tendulkar in the World Cup final. The home fans, meanwhile, are crushed. Crushed and stunned. Tendulkar slowly walks off the field, possibly the last time we'll see him in a World Cup. OVER 6: IND 31/1 Tendulkar 18* Gambhir 12* It's been one of the enduring anomalies of one-day international cricket that Nuwan Kulasekara was once ranked number one bowler in the world, given that whenever I've seen him bowl he's seemed to have the unmistakeable whiff of a supermarket own-brand Alan Mullally.
Perera starts well - he's a good, honest, seam-up bowler - and induces an expansive square drive from Gambhir that goes through backward point in the air for four runs! OVER 5: IND 27/1 Tendulkar 18* Gambhir 8* Malinga does get another over, and it's a good one. Intelligent length to Gambhir, offering him nothing to drive and just threatening to tail the ball back into his pads. He chucks in a masterful middle-stump yorker - slightly slower, to draw the drive - that Gambhir watches and digs out for a single. Last ball to Tendulkar. And he's beaten outside the off-stump. Just one off the over.
Kulasekara gets the boot after two overs for 16, and Thisara Perera is handed the ball. Nick Hoult on Twitter: 'Murali is moving like a man who retired ten years ago' OVER 4: IND 26/1 Tendulkar 18* Gambhir 7* Gambhir's been looking to shuffle down the pitch to Kulasekara, so Sangakkara comes up to the stumps as Kulasekara begins his second over. Gambhir nudges another single into the off-side - he tends to play very correctly and very straight at the start of his innings - and then Tendulkar again picks the gap in the off-side field and gets two. Kulasekara straightens his line, and Tendulkar drives him - brilliantly - down the ground for four! It was the economy of movement that was so impressive there, he simply backed his eye and his timing, and the ball fairly exploded off the bat.
The next ball's wide, and Tendulkar cuts it away through backward point for another four! India are counter-attacking here! OVER 3: IND 15/1 Tendulkar 8* Gambhir 6* Malinga's so totally up for this.
He's touching the low 90s in terms of pace, and bouncing back to his mark as if he's spent the entire innings break crunching sugar cubes. Gambhir pushes a single into the off-side, Tendulkar flicks a straight delivery down to mid-wicket for two, and then he pushes into the gap in the covers and gets another two.
These two are actually picking up Malinga's length fairly quickly, and having made the breakthrough, it wouldn't surprise me to see him hauled out of the attack and kept in the cupboard for later. OVER 2: IND 10/1 Tendulkar 4* Gambhir 6* Kulasekara to take the new ball, and Sachin's away in his second World Cup final with a single steered into the off side, square of the wicket. Gambhir runs a leg bye, and then Tendulkar drives through the covers to a colossal roar from the home crowd! He'll race back for three. Gambhir pushes another single off the last to move India into double figures.
You can't take your eyes off this for a minute. Do keep your emails coming in, folks. OVER 1: IND 4/1 Tendulkar 0* Gambhir 4* Sorry for springing that wicket on you, everyone, but what a start for Sri Lanka! Again, Sehwag chose to review the decision without consulting Tendulkar, and if India get a shocking decision in the 49th over after using up both of their reviews, that moderate slice of selfishness will be revisited.
Gambhir clips his first ball off his legs. And gets four! That's cheered the Wankhede up a touch. Still, Sri Lanka went into the innings break with all the momentum, and they've roared into the second innings. Sehwag lbw Malinga 0 Sehwag gone!
You can hear a pin drop down Marine Drive. Malinga fires in a quick, straight one and Sehwag is caught back in his crease by the pace. The review takes its time but he was plumb as anything. 14.15 Well, that's how to bat. It wasn't a great start by Sri Lanka, and a billion people will have been licking their lips at the thought of setting their batsmen loose on a modest total.
But first Sangakkara, then Jayawardene, and finally Kulasekara and Perera attached jump leads to the nipples of the innings, timing their charge to perfection, making full use of the Powerplay, and leaving India with an empty, deflated feeling as they walked off the field. Under normal circumstances, with the pitch remaining pretty good, you'd expect India to chase these. But it's under lights, against Sri Lanka's high-class bowling attack. Oh, and it's in a World Cup final. India will have to bat very, very, very well indeed to get these. I'm just going to nip away for about 10-15 minutes (India's abominable over rate cutting into my break time), but I'll leave you with one stat: Jayawardene's century was the sixth in a World Cup final.
All five previous century-makers finished on the winning side. Also, nobody's ever chased this many to win a World Cup final. And the highest successful chase at the Wankhede is just 229. I'll come in again.
Michael Vaughan on Twitter: 'Rather be in the Sri Lanka camp. How to spoil a party involving a billion people.?'
OVER 50: SL 274/6 Jayawardene 103 (88)* Perera 22 (9)* Perera really gives the first ball some welly, but it goes straight to Kohli on the long-off boundary, and the batsmen jog a single. Jayawardene backs away, Zaheer follows him, and Jayawardene digs it out of the block hole and steers it down to short third man for another single. After getting burned in that last over, Zaheer's dealing almost exclusively in yorkers and low full tosses now, but Perera was expecting that one, and carves it through the covers for four! Six off three balls so far. And another low full toss from Zaheer that Perera bunts over the head of mid-on for another four! Zaheer drags his length back, Perera swings it out to deep mid-wicket, and Jayawardene scrambles back to complete the second run! This really has been a super batting display by Sri Lanka.
And Perera smites it high over mid-wicket for six! Eighteen off the over!
Sixty-three off the Powerplay! Sri Lanka are right in this game! Perhaps even favourites! Jayawardene and Perera walk off to a. Well, a fairly muted reception, to be honest. But how beautifully set up is this game now?
OVER 49: SL 256/6 Jayawardene 102* Perera 5* Thisara Perera, a young, hard-hitting left-handed all-rounder, comes to the crease with Harbhajan to bowl. Jayawardene takes a single off the first, and Perera gets off the mark with a drilled single down to long off.
Jayawardene flicks the ball to mid-wicket for another single, and then Perera swings his arms, smashing Harbhajan over the top and past long on for four runs! This is exemplary Powerplay batting by Sri Lanka, and a leg bye brings the total off the over to eight. Sri Lanka are closing in on a really strong total here, with one over left that Zaheer Khan will bowl. OVER 48: WICKET! Kulasekara run out (Dhoni) 31 SL 248/6 Kulasekara swings the first six of the final high over mid-wicket!
That sailed a full 87 metres, straight into the crowd, and Zaheer pays for dishing up a length delivery at this stage. Kulasekara's played wonderfully well since coming in, and that boundary brings up the fifty partnership. A single down to mid-on brings Jayawardene back onto strike, and he gets lucky there! It's short, Jayawardene gloves his hook, and the ball flies just out of the reach of Dhoni for two runs! That takes him to 92, and then a beautiful upper cut over short third man takes him to 96! After eulogising Zaheer earlier, I've got to admit that this isn't the cleverest over from him.
Length again, and Jayawardene swings him high over cover for four to reach his century! A glorious innings from Jayawardene, who came in with Sri Lanka in a real pickle but who has put them right in this final. He tries to keep the strike off the last ball as the ball flicks off his pad, and Kulasekara sacrifices himself as Dhoni's underarm throw hits the stumps! Kulasekara departs after a super partnership of 66 from 49 balls, but that over cost 17. OVER 47: SL 231/5 Jayawardene 90* Kulasekara 25* Short from Munaf, and Kulasekara hooks it away for his first boundary! It wasn't middled, but fine leg was in the circle and the man at deep square couldn't quite scuttle round in time.
A single into the leg side, and then Jayawardene backs away and slashes over the slips for four! I suspect Jayawardene was trying to hit that a good deal squarer than he actually did, but with third man in the circle it was always a high-percentage shot.
Munaf spots Kulasekara backing away, and follows him with a perfect leg-stump yorker that Kulasekara can only dig out. The last ball's a slower one, and Kulasekara's full-blooded slap trickles away for one. Eleven off the over. OVER 46: SL 220/5 Jayawardene 85* Kulasekara 19* Kulasekara tries to slog a short ball over square leg first up, he doesn't quite get all of it, and the ball loops up in the air and down to deep mid-wicket for one. Jayawardene with a more controlled pull for one, and then another single for Kulasekara as he backs away, Zaheer follows him, and he pulls it down to deep mid-wicket once more. A perfect yorker next up, with Jayawardene calmly digs out for a single. Still no immoderate aggression from these two, as Kulasekara pushes another single into the on-side.
And that's a shot by Jayawardene! Zaheer strives for the yorker again, Jayawardene's waiting for it, and manages to steer it through the covers for four. And that, ladies and gentlemen, but especially you, Andy Flower, is how you take nine overs from a Powerplay over without going postal. Munaf to bowl. OVER 45: SL 211/5 Jayawardene 79* Kulasekara 16* Six off the over without too many qualms at all. What's been really surprising is the lack of really big shots so far.
Jayawardene's been able to score at more or less a run a ball without a big slog over the top. It's all been timing and those deft little late cuts. A mature effort, but if Sri Lanka end up falling short you wonder whether they could have gone bigger earlier. They'll have to have a go now, though.
It's batting Powerplay time, and Zaheer, you assume, is going to bowl three of those. What's a decent total?
250, I reckon, is still a minimum, but they must keep wickets in hand. OVER 44: SL 205/5 Jayawardene 77* Kulasekara 12* Kulasekara tries to pull a shorter delivery, miscues it and gets one. Wide and full from Munaf, and Jayawardene swings his arms and square drives it straight to Kohli at backward point. Who lets the ball scoot under him! India have fielded admirably so far, but that's a real howler by Kohli, who was just rising from his crouching stance just as the ball raced along the ground towards him. Another single dabbed down to third man, and it's six from the over.
The ball's being changed again for some reason. Will Jayawardene take the Powerplay? No, he won't.
Harbhajan to continue. INDIA REVIEW (Kulasekara) Wide from Munaf, cut by Kulasekara, and Dhoni is howling for a caught behind! Kohli's also up, but Munaf doesn't seem quite as convinced. Aleem Dar shook his head, but we're now watching from every angle. There's no visible deviation - there rarely ever is - but is that a slight noise as the stump microphones are turned up?
Possibly, but can you give the batsman out on the strength of 'possibly'? Possibly not. Aleem Dar waves his arms for a dead ball, and the original not out decision stands. That's India's last review. OVER 43: SL 199/5 Jayawardene 72* Kulasekara 11* Harbhajan's continuing to wheel it in from around the wicket, trying to get the odd ball to bite. The pitch, by the way, is a wonderful colour. It's sort of a deep, darkish-brownish straw colour, or a particularly vivid shade of thick porridge.
A typical Indian pitch like they used to make them. It's not Bhajji's best over, a little too short, and the batsmen can simply stand tall and nudge the ball off their pads. There's a wide somewhere in there as well, so the over costs seven. India won't really mind that at this stage. It's the really big overs, the twelves and fifteens, that they'll be keen to avoid. OVER 42: SL 192/5 Jayawardene 69* Kulasekara 8* What do you do if you're Mahela 'Woman' Jayawardene? Try and push things along a bit, risk getting out, and watching Sri Lanka crumble to 220?
Or giving up their chance of a really challenging total in favour of staying in and making sure they have something halfway decent to defend? He's not going for it yet, Jayawardene, just taking a quick single off that over.
Kulasekara nudges off his pads for two, Yuvraj with a fine piece of fielding on the long leg boundary. He then drives into the gap in the off-side and gets two more. Harbhajan's got three overs left, and he's going to bowl one of them now. OVER 41: SL 186/5 Jayawardene 68* Kulasekara 3* Yuvraj's final over goes for three runs, and despite really not bowling all that well, he's done the job expected of him, picking up two wickets and going for just 49 off his 10 overs. He's the sixth highest wicket-taker in the tournament, with 15. What a World Cup he's had. Munaf replaces Zaheer.
Nick Hoult on Twitter: 'How many wickets will Zaheer take in England next summer? Tough test for Cook' OVER 40: SL 183/5 Jayawardene 67* Kulasekara 1* Kulasekara retains the strike with a single off the last ball of the over. Just to highlight the difference in speed, Zaheer's previous delivery to Jayawardene was 84.8mph. The slower ball that got Kapugedera was just 73.8mph. The change in action almost imperceptible. He's a master of his art, Zaheer, and he's proved it in the biggest match of his life. Ten overs to go.
Yuvraj is going to bowl out here, and unsurprisingly there's still no sign of the Powerplay. SL 182/5 Kapugedera c Raina b Zaheer 1 (5) SL 182/5 Zaheer does it again! Stunning piece of deception, as Kapugedera lunges at a perfectly-disguised slower delivery and plops it straight into the hands of Raina at short extra cover! That's just a sensational delivery to bowl to a new batsman, and Sri Lanka are wobbling at just the wrong time. They've got a mighty long tail, as well, as Nuwan Kulasekara comes in at number seven. He's all right, but he's an eight or nine at best.
Sri Lanka in danger of undoing a lot of their good work here. OVER 39: SL 181/4 Jayawardene 66* Kapugedera 1* Well, well.
The immutable rule of the UDRS system is that you give Simon 'Corn Rows' Taufel the benefit of the doubt. This one, though, he appears to have gotten wrong. All the pressure on Jayawardene now as Kapugedera joins him at the wicket.
A couple of singles and that wicket from Yuvraj's over. Samaraweera lbw b Yuvraj Singh 21 (34) SL 179/4 Samaraweera gets down on the sweep, gets hit on the pad a long way across, and not out is the decision from Simon Taufel! Yuvraj is incensed, absolutely convinced that was dead in line, and bullies Dhoni into reviewing the decision. Here it comes. It was definitely hitting the stumps, but did Samaraweera gets his pad out of the line of off stump? He did, but the ball hit him on his thigh pad, which was in line!
Decision overturned! OVER 38: SL 179/3 Jayawardene 65* Samaraweera 21* Dhoni senses the game beginning to drift. He's a fairly proactive captain, not afraid to stir the pot.
He brings Zaheer Khan back to try and snare a wicket and swing the game back India's way. Zaheer chucks down a marginal off-side wide to bring up the 50 partnership, before Jayawardene steps across his stumps and glides the ball deliciously fine for four!
Dhoni could almost have reached it, but not quite. Eight from the over, a good one for Sri Lanka. OVER 37: SL 171/3 Jayawardene 60* Samaraweera 19* It might just be a trick of the light, but Yuvraj seems to be getting a little more bounce from this end.
Jayawardene and Samaraweera mistime a few cuts, and there are only three runs off that over. Samaraweera keeps the strike with a single down the ground. A run a ball gets Sri Lanka to 249, eight an over gets them to 275.
I reckon 260-270 sets this final up beautifully. Muralitharan to Tendulkar. Malinga to Sehwag. Delicious prospect. It's like the IPL with context. Derek 'I coulda been a contender' Pringle on Twitter: 'Dhoni trying Liquorice Allsorts approach to bowling changes' OVER 36: SL 168/3 Jayawardene 59* Samaraweera 17* Yuvraj's lack of consistency is clearly so concerning Dhoni that he's trying to squeeze a few overs out of his part-timers.
We've had a couple from Tendulkar, and now Virat Kohli trots in to bowl his medium pacers. The first one's a real loosener, wide of off stump, and Jayawardene can really swing his arms at it. Six from the over. Yuvraj replaces Tendulkar at the other end. OVER 35: SL 162/3 Jayawardene 54* Samaraweera 16* Tendulkar may be able to move heaven and earth with a wave of his arm (or at the very least, get a decent table at dinner), but he can't stop this steady trickle of singles. Jayawardene mixes it up with a two off his pads, and Tendulkar chucks in a couple of wides to sweeten the pot.
Already this partnership is worth 40, and Sri Lanka have rallied gamely since losing their captain. Now, remember the quiz question in over 30? England v New Zealand at Old Trafford in 1994? The answer is: there were two tosses - one real, one fake. Michael Atherton, flipped the coin, Ken Rutherford called right, and immediately decided to field.
At which point someone from the BBC stepped in and said the toss had not been carried out correctly. Which, in his words, meant nobody had been filming it. Rutherford was having none of it, though, and a few minutes later the two captains carried out a fake toss for the TV cameras. Never let it be said you don't learn anything from this live blog. That's a valuable piece of information, that. Even if it's taken me 17 years to find an appropriate situation in which to deploy it. OVER 34: SL 155/3 Jayawardene 50* Samaraweera 15* 'Slightly concerned that there's an actual word for 'pretty young lady of 14/15' in Spanish!'
Writes Shafi Khan in Bedford. Well, just as the Eskimos have all these different words for 'snow', the Spanish have at least 50 different words for 'pretty young lady'.
Pretty young ladies are the very fabric of their culture, in the same way that milky tea is for us. Jayawardene premeditates the paddle sweep and gets away with it, lapping Yuvraj very fine. Samaraweera then with a more conventional sweep for one, before Jayawardene brings up his fifty with another swept single. Just 49 balls for that. What a fine innings it's been.
He'll need to stay there, though, if Sri Lanka are to get to 250. OVER 33: SL 148/3 Jayawardene 44* Samaraweera 14* Here's a ridiculous statistic for you. Sachin Tendulkar's bowling may be the cricketing equivalent of Nando's house wine, but when you spend as long in the game as Tendulkar has, you do pick up a few wickets along the way.
To be exact, 154. Now, here's the ridiculous statistic: if Tendulkar were English, that would put him fourth on the list of all time one-day wicket-takers. It would go Gough, Anderson, Flintoff, Tendulkar. Of course, if Tendulkar actually were English, he wouldn't have made his debut until he was about 26, and he would have played about 15 Tests before being dropped in favour of a more athletic fielder.
It's not a bad over, actually, a wide amid it, but precious little to hit. OVER 32: SL 143/3 Jayawardene 42* Samaraweera 12* Both these batsmen look in fine touch, the odd mini-scare notwithstanding. Yuvraj simply hasn't hit a consistent length at any stage of his spell, and these two can simply come right forward and drive into the gap, or rock back and knock the ball away for one.
Four from the over, and we've got a new bowler. The crowd roars as the stadium announcer reads out the name of Sachin Sewards Tendulkar. INDIA REVIEW (Samaraweera) Samaraweera sweeps, the ball pops up into the air, Dhoni takes the catch, and there's a huge appeal from the crowd! Yuvraj seems less sure, but after a few moments' consideration, Dhoni calls for the review.
Aleem Dar gave it not out pretty much instantly, but it looks pretty close on the replay. The ball definitely hit the pad and ballooned upwards, but whether it caught glove, arm or bat on the way upwards, it's impossible to tell.
Not out, therefore, is the only decision that can be made. Only Samaraweera knows whether he hit that, and he's not telling. India lose a review.
It was their 15th review of the tournament, and only three of those have been successful. OVER 31: SL 139/3 Jayawardene 40* Samaraweera 10* Super shot by Jayawardene! He gets a bit of width from Sreesanth, but doesn't try and hit the cover off the ball like Sangakkara did, but simply guides it into the gap, and it has enough pace on it to run away through backward point for four runs. Peter Rowntree writes in on the subject of dodgy translations: 'When I first came to live in Colombia, before my Spanish was fluent I used to pick up words in conversations so I could join in. One evening, having a beer with my family in Neiva, I heard them talking about sardines - ' sardinas'. So I said that sardines on toast was one of my favourite snacks.
My wife, daughter and son-in-law collapsed into hysterics. 'Sardinas' here has a second meaning - it means a pretty young lady of, say, 14 or 15 years of age.'
OVER 30: SL 132/3 Jayawardene 34* Samaraweera 9* A run a ball from here gets Sri Lanka to 254. Yuvraj continues after drinks. Now, a quiz question for you on the subject of the toss.
What was unusual about the toss between England and New Zealand at Old Trafford in 1994? I'll give you a few overs to think about that one. Samaraweera unloads the late cut again! It was short again from Yuvraj, who's bowled rather poorly so far, I reckon. But that boundary is the only scoring shot of the over. Reeshi Biswas requests the teams.
Sorry, that was an oversight. I'll stick the teams in at the bottom of the page.
OVER 29: SL 128/3 Jayawardene 34* Samaraweera 5* That's quite a way to get off the mark! Just a fraction back of a length from Sreesanth, and Samaraweera guides it through the slips for four! No slip, so it was a fairly safe shot, but he did well to get it fine enough to beat Yuvraj at third man. Dhoni responds by bringing a slip in. Samaraweera takes a simple single into the off-side. 'The great Mahela',' writes Rahul Nayyar.
'You say that to any Indian and he’ll think you said 'the great woman'. Mahela is woman in Hindi.' Rolls Royce once produced a car called the 'Silver Mist'. It sold fairly well around the world, but to their bafflement, it hardly sold at all in Germany. Then somebody noticed that in German, 'Mist' means 'manure'. The name was swiftly changed to 'Silver Shadow'.
I've got a whole well of dodgy translation stories. I'll wheel a couple of them out if we hit another lull.
OVER 28: SL 122/3 Jayawardene 33* Samaraweera 0* You rarely see much emotion from Sangakkara, but you could see he was absolutely distraught after that wicket. His eyes shot to the heavens and he trudged back to the pavilion remonstrating with himself fiercely. Samaraweera the new batsman, and Sreesanth's going to be brought back to replace Harbhajan. Sangakkara c Dhoni b Yuvraj 48 (67) SL 122/3 What a disaster for Sri Lanka! Their captain, strangled by Yuvraj! What a horrible dismissal for Sangakkara.
It was a long hop outside off stump from Yuvraj, and you could see Sangakkara's eyes lighting up like Belisha beacons as he lined up the cut. In a fraction of a second though, there was a tiny click of wood and Dhoni was throwing the ball in the air in delight. Just three balls earlier, he had played a terrific shot, threaded through the mid-wicket gap for four.
It's all for naught now, though. Crucial breakthrough for India! OVER 27: SL 114/2 Sangakkara 41* Jayawardene 32* Big turn for Bhajji! Tossed up invitingly by Harbhajan, like a pork pie on a string, but it rips off the surface, beating Sangakkara's expansive lofted drive. That was too hot for Dhoni as well, who fumbles the take. Oooh and aaahs (mostly ooohs, to be honest) from the crowd. And now Jayawardene almost goes!
He tries the late cut, the ball spins sharply from around the wicket, and that's missed off stump by the width of a garlic naan bread. Jayawardene connects with the late cut off the last ball of the over, Tendulkar sprawling on the boundary to keep them down to two. OVER 26: SL 111/2 Sangakkara 40* Jayawardene 30* Another full toss from Yuvraj, but Jayawardene can't put it away, finding the man at long-on and getting just one. That's better, though! Just a little width from Yuvraj, and Jayawardene waits for it before dabbing it away for four through third man! That brings up the 50 stand in just 56 balls.
OVER 25: SL 105/2 Sangakkara 39* Jayawardene 25* Oh dear, Michael Vaughan. He's just tweeted something that would be more becoming of a 13-year-old boy than England's most successful ever captain. Suffice it to say that it exploits the second, more licentious understanding of the word 'toss', which he has juxtaposed with the name of the stadium (the Wankhede) to produce something we may as well call 'humour'. Jayawardene turns a leg-stump delivery from Harbhajan just wide of leg slip. Sangakkara then gets a single behind square on the leg side that turns into two when Yuvraj's throw hits the stumps and dribbles away into the outfield. Five from the over, and at the halfway stage Sri Lanka are probably around 20 or 30 runs short of where they'd want to be, but still have wickets in hand.
OVER 24: SL 100/2 Sangakkara 36* Jayawadene 23* A tighter over from Yuvraj, although he gets away with a horrible full-toss on leg-stump that Sangakkara belts straight at long-on for a single. He does bring up Sri Lanka's hundred, though, with a well-balanced cut for two runs. Just what Sri Lanka needed, this partnership. It's now worth 40 off 45 balls.
You feel, though, that these two have to stay in for a while if they're going to get Sri Lanka to a defendable total. OVER 23: SL 96/2 Sangakkara 33* Jayawardene 22* It's all gone a little bit quiet at Mumbai. Whether that's because Sri Lanka have had a good few overs or because it's happy hour at the bar, I'm not too sure.
Harbhajan's over goes for two runs. OVER 22: SL 94/2 Sangakkara 32* Jayawardene 21* Now, this has the feel of a crucial point in the game. Yuvraj Singh, India's fifth bowler, comes into the attack, and he's had a superb tournament with the ball. But Sangakkara lays into him immediately! Tried to smear him over mid-wicket, but miscued it for one. A couple more singles, and then Jayawardene seizes on another slightly short delivery, and sends it crashing over mid-wicket for four runs! Eight from the over, and a real statement of intent from these two.
If Dhoni can't get 10 overs out of Yuvraj, he's in a world of trouble, as he'll then have to turn to the real part-timers to make up the shortfall. That means Sehwag and Raina. Or what price a match-winning five-fer for Tendulkar?
OVER 21: SL 86/2 Sangakkara 30* Jayawardene 15* Sangakkara almost comes unstuck as he tries to use his feet against Harbhajan. He gets rapped on the pad, dead straight, probably in line as well. Big appeal, but Simon Taufel's not going to touch that with a 22-yard bargepole, not with Sangakkara so far down the pitch. The next one he does connect with though, placing it expertly in between the two men in the leg-side deep, and getting two runs for it. OVER 20: SL 83/2 Sangakkara 27* Jayawardene 15* No slip!
Four more to Jayawardene! Sreesanth returns, steam pouring forth from his ears and sparks flying from his heels, and Jayawardene plays it away very fine with an angled bat and a craftsman's touch. Sreesanth finishes the over well, though, with three dot balls. Six runs from the over, and it's going to be Harbhajan to continue. OVER 19: SL 77/2 Sangakkara 26* Jayawardene 10* Good singles from these two, before Jayawardene plunges a left boot down the pitch and thumps Harbhajan through the covers for four! Excellent shot, and the crowd is momentarily silenced.
Another single through square leg, and then Sangakkara drives very sketchily indeed, and edges just wide of slip! Harbhajan lets out a yelp of dismay as the ball runs away for four runs. Twelve off the over for Sri Lanka, and that will go down like a cold glass of Chardonnay on a very hot day. The Analyst on Twitter: 'Very worried about Sri Lanka after number four. Huge pressure on Sangakkara. They need 250-plus.'
OVER 18: SL 65/2 Sangakkara 20* Jayawardene 4* Another exemplary over from Munaf. The next 10 overs, you feel, are absolutely crucial for Sri Lanka. Lose another couple of wickets and it could be a very, very long evening for them. But there are gaps in the field, so these two will be able to manipulate the ball around for ones and twos without taking too many risks.
Jayawardene turns his wrists on a fairly straight delivery to send it through mid-wicket for two. OVER 17: SL 63/2 Sangakkara 20* Jayawardene 2* It's down to these two, then. Whisper it, but India are putting in a champion's performance so far. Harbhajan's really enjoying himself now, tossing it up, teasing the batsmen from around the wicket. Jayawardene gets off the mark with a couple of singles. Dilshan b Harbhajan 33 (49) SL 60/2 Huge wicket at a crucial time for India!
Someone guard the TV in the dressing room, Dilshan's going to be livid with himself. It was a leg-sidish delivery from Harbhajan on a decent length, Dilshan got down on one knee and tried to give it the old heave-ho around the corner, got some glove on it, the ball cannoned onto his thigh, and rattled into the stumps! Dilshan bowls himself around his legs, if you can process such an image. Just when Sri Lanka were starting to think about making a move. Jayawardene - the great Mahela - makes his entrance. OVER 16: SL 60/1 Patel continues to cramp up the Sri Lankans with a tight line. Dilshan just continues to find the fielders.
He does pass 500 runs for the tournament, though, with a single. He's top scorer in the tournament so far, with a certain S Tendulkar lurking on 464. OVER 15: SL 58/1 Right, here's Harbhajan. The Wankhede curator called this pitch a 'slow turner' yesterday so he could play a key role this arvo. Dilshan and Sangakkara are pretty good players of spin though, and they see off a good first over with a couple of singles.
OVER 14: SL 56/1 Can you get a man-of-the-match award for fielding alone? Yuvraj is at it again.
Sangakkara cuts uppishly and the tiger-like Yuvvie pounces and even looks to flick the ball back to Sangakkara who is edging out of his crease. India are well on top, but Sri Lanka have pushed their run rate to four per over. Not bad going. Drinks are on. OVER 13: SL 54/1 So, after 11 overs of dives, sprawls and lavish stretches from the spirited Indians, Sangakkara goes aerial. A deliciously lofted on-drive, a slight flick of his left leg giving the shot an air of class.
It's successive fours as Sreesanth fails to stop a straight drive. The pressure is on Sreesanth though. He gets an official warning from Taufel for planting his right foot down the middle of the track and then sends in a no-ball for good measure. The free hit proves costly for India, Dilshan unwinds and edges a streaky four.
Costly stuff. OVER 12: SL 39/1 Oh, that was pure class. Patel bowls a touch full and Sangakkara is virtually on one knee and driving through extra cover for four. He splits the five-man cover field, too. Dilshan 26* Sangakkara 7* OVER 11: SL 34/1 Sreesanth replaces Zaheer now and it's a decent over, too. Full length and Sangakkara is content to punch to mid on and off.
Looks classy but he will want to up his run rate, which currently standa at three runs from 14 balls. Michael Vaughan on Twitter: 'Sangakarra has stuffed Dhoni. He shouted tails in the first toss and lost it.
You can hear it in on air.' OVER 10: SL 31/1 My, India's fielders are up for this.
I reckon they've saved five certain boundaries. There's Yuvraj at point again with a full-length mid-air dive to stop a Dilshan cut. Then, when Dilshan does get Patel away for two, Sangakkara puts in a full-stretch forward dive to prevent four. OVER 9: SL 28/1 Here's Zaheer again and Dilshan and Sangakkara finally put the dot ball merchant in the shade with three scoring strokes off his first three balls. Lots of bat on ball and the Sri Lankan skipper looks in good nick.
OVER 8: SL 24/1 Munaf Patel replaces Sreesanth and he's cramping the Lankan duo straight away. Dilshan cuts on his fifth delivery and it flashes to third man, but there's Zaheer, running and diving on the ropes to stop a certain four. Mihir Vasavda emails: 'Zaheer in 2003 final vs Australia: 3 overs for 28. Eight years on vs SL: 3 overs, 3 maidens. What more to say, it's been a sensational start from him.
OVER 7: SL 19/1 Sangakkara is off the mark on his first ball with a dab and run. Did Zaheer drop his shoulders in disappointment there? That's the first run off him. Tharanga c Sehwag b Zaheer 2 SL 17/1 Can there have been a better start in a World Cup final? Zaheer has bowled 18 dot balls and first delivery of his fourth over sees Tharanga edge to slip. Brilliant bowling.
OVER 6: SL 17/0 As expected, Dilshan opens his arms and plants Sreesanth's first delivery over midwicket for four. Two balls later and Sreesanth is short again, and wide, as Dilshan cuts hard for another four. Dilshan 12* Tharanga 2* OVER 5: SL 9/0 Zaheer is right on the money. On another day the Lankans might well be 25/0. They are middling everything but there is an Indian in the way every time.
Notably Yuvraj at point. Zaheer sends down another maiden. That's 18 dot deliveries. Pressure is mounting on the opening pair, so expect fireworks in the next over. OVER 4: SL 9/0 Sreesanth is like a stray Mumbai dog on heat out there. Lots of pats and hair-pulls by his team-mates as they try and settle him down.
It seems to work as he produces a sound over, Tharanga and Dilshan taking a single apiece. Dhoni has got his field placings spot on, though. OVER 3: SL 7/0 Sreesanth's high blood pressure is mirrored by Zaheer's calm exterior. Tharanga middles pretty much everything in the over but it's a maiden as Yuvraj makes a couple of sprawling stops at point.
Right, early prediction times. Looking at the surface, I reckon 270-plus is a minimum. 'Oh god oh god oh god HAS ANYONE won BATTING SECOND IN A WORLD CUP FINAL?'
Missives Rahul Nayyar. Have faith Rahul, have faith. OVER 2: SL 7/0 Well, well.
The mop-haired Sreesanth, who hasn't played cricket for 42 days, is straight into the attack. And the volatile quick gets stuck in immediately with an enormous LBW shout. Classic Sreesanth really, knees bent, slightly crouched, two hands raised and an elongated appeal at the umps. Note: the delivery was going way down the leg and Aleem Dar tells him to calm it down a tad. Meanwhile, Dilshan is looking to get bat on ball and finds two through the covers.
OVER 1: SL 2/0 The Wankhede's ready. Zaheer Khan is ready. Let's go then. The left-armer is into Tharanga who dead bats it down.
Zaheer then sends in a snorter of a delivery, just angling away from Tharanga's blade. A bye and a leg bye bring the first runs of this all-Asian final. But a quiet start all round. SRI LANKA WIN THE TOSS AND WILL BAT Sri Lanka: W U Tharanga, T M Dilshan, K C Sangakkara (Capt, Wkt), D P M D Jayawardene, T T Samaraweera, C K Kapugedera, N L T C Perera, K M D N Kulasekara, S L Malinga, S Randiv, M Muralitharan. India: V Sehwag, S R Tendulkar, G Gambhir, V Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, M S Dhoni (Capt, Wkt), S K Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Z Khan, S Sreesanth, M M Patel. 09.50: India's injured left-arm pace bowler Ashish Nehra has been replaced by Shanthakumaran Sreesanth. Sri Lanka make four changes, selecting Thisara Perera, Suraj Randiv, Nuwan Kulasekara and Chamara Kapugedera in place of Angelo Mathews, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath and Chamara Silva.
09.30: 'IT'S TOSS TIME, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,' booms Ravi Shastri. MS Dhoni flicks and. The captains look at each other. Ravi and the match official look at each other.
They decide to retoss. Dhoni couldn't hear Sangakkara's call. 'The reason was the noise,' reveals Rav. 09.00: Here are some of today's front page headlines from India ahead of the big one. The Times of India goes with 'A nation holds its breath', 'Nerves key in battle of equals' in the Hindustan Times, the Deccan Herald plumps for 'Saturday night fever', while DNA goes for a slightly weird one - 'There will be blood'.
And why not read.: India's bowlers hold key against Sri Lanka: nothing but admiration for formidable Murali: Tendulkar can achieve deserving double: his verdict on India and Sri Lanka players 08.45: Good morning one and all. What a day we have in store, hey? The first all-Asian final, Tendulkar on 99 tons, Murali playing his last ODI. There are so many sub-plots to this final that it surely can't end a damp squib. We will find out when the action starts at 10am.
One thing's for certain. Whatever happens today, the World Cup wil be lifted by a host nation for the first time. Does this also lead us to favour slightly? They are very much the co-hosts rather than the main men of Mumbai. Here's Simon Briggs with the lowdown on how things might pan out. ----- Mumbai’s make-up Let’s look at the last five one-day internationals played at the Wankhede Stadium, which takes us back to the turn of the millennium. I’m not counting the New Zealand v Canada procession two weeks ago, though I am counting Andrew Flintoff’s memorable performance in 2003, when he wrapped up a drawn one-day series (a rare feat for England) by castling Javagal Srinath, pulling his shirt off, and waving it around his head.
Anyway, back to business. The team batting first has won three of these matches and lost two, which is encouraging, as it suggests that the final won’t be decided at the toss. The range of first-innings scores extends from 286 to 193 (both made by Australia, as it happens), with the average being 244. And the average score after 15 overs is 84 for 2, so this is not a ground where teams have been able to go ballistic with the bat.
At least, not without coming horribly unstuck. Where the final will be won and lost Each side will be scanning the other for weak points. For, the second-string bowling is a potential Achilles heel, while both teams have potentially brittle lower orders. As Suresh Raina showed yesterday, a late 30 or 40 could well prove decisive in the long run. Pointers India have lost just three of their last 18 ODIs against Sri Lanka on home soil. Mahela Jayawardene has struggled in Indian conditions, averaging just 19.6 in 16 innings. The big two We’ve heard a lot about Messrs Tendulkar and Muralitharan, so who is going to come out on top?
Well, both men raise their games for the World Cup, as these numbers show. But Muralitharan actually dips a little in tournament finals, either through weariness or because he is up against better teams, who have perhaps got used to his unique method. Tendulkar seems to thrive on any kind of pressure, so perhaps he can reverse the Indian tendency to underperform at the crucial moment.
Muralitharan ODIs: 534 wkts at 23.00. World Cup: 68 wkts at 19.05. Tournament finals: 49 wkts at 24.48. Tendulkar ODIs: 18093 runs at 45.23. World Cup: 2260 runs at 57.94. Tournament finals: 1833 runs at 55.54.
The pitch Batting first is the best option – 11 of the 17 games at Mumbai have been won by runs rather than wickets. 250 is a minimum score on a good surface, while organisers will minimise the impact of evening dew by spraying a chemical on the outfield. The Wankhede curator said yesterday that it would be a 'slow turner' but a run-filled wicket. The side batting second, though, would be in for a tough chase with excessive dew a concern.