India v Pakistan encounters in more ways than one extracts the patriotism out from either side. Be it the lack of bilateral encounters between the two nations or the troubled history, this encounter is bound to grab maximum eyeballs.
It was no different during the 2011 World Cup and more so because it was the semi-final of the quadrennial event. In four previous occasions at the ODI World Cup, India had defeated their arch-rivals and they did not disappoint their home fans making it 5-0 at the prestigious event on this very day nine years back.
India and Pakistan had quite contrasting routes to the semifinal. While Pakistan routed West Indies by 10 wickets in their quarter-final game in Dhaka, India had a rather hard graft against defending champions Australia. However, a Yuvraj Singh special helped the hosts beat the Aussies by five wickets in Ahmedabad.
Coming to the game, held at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, in Mohali, it was always going to be a broadcaster’s delight. India and Pakistan had met each other four times in World Cups with the former winning each time.
But the Pakistan unit, led by Shahid Afridi, were a strong unit across all aspects and with the pressure all being on India considering they were the hosts and favourites, the men in Green would have harboured hopes of a win.
The toss went in India’s favour who elected to bat on what looked a batting paradise. Virender Sehwag, as he had all tournament started off with a four to his name. He then laid into Umar Gul crashing the pacer for five fours in an over as India raced to 47/0 after five overs. Wahab Riaz drew Pakistan first blood trapping the dangerous Sehwag plumb for a 25-ball 38. Indian hearts then collectively sank and jumped for joy in a matter of minutes when Sachin Tendulkar was adjudged leg before wicket off Saeed Ajmal only for the decision to be overturned by the third umpire on DRS. The very next ball Tendulkar once again survived a marginal stumping chance as Pakistan slowly started to stifle India.
Tendulkar just two overs later once again survived when Misbah-ul-Haq dropped a regulation chance at midwicket. India crossed the 100-run mark in the 16th over before Mohammad Hafeez got rid of Gautam Gambhir for 27. Tendulkar was dropped a second time but Wahab Riaz made up for it as he got rid of both Virat Kohli and Yuvraj off successive balls to leave India at 141/4. Tendulkar was then dropped a third and a fourth time before his luck finally ran out on 85 when Ajmal had him caught at short extra cover.
India lost their way after Tendulkar's dismissal but Suresh Raina with his free-flowing strokeplay bailed them out. India finished on 260/9 at the end of the 50 overs.
Pakistan’s chase started off on a sedate note but Zaheer Khan and Munaf Patel sent back the openers to set the ball rolling for India. The scoring rate dropped dramatically while India kept chipping away at the wickets.
Yuvraj sent back Asad Shafiq and Younis Khan while Harbhajan Singh got the better of Umar Akmal. Misbah stood like a rock at one end but soon ran out of partners as India took the match by 29 runs and with that sealed a place in the final of the World Cup.
The juggernaut carried on with India leading 5-0 in World Cups.
- India got the better of Sri Lanka in the final to win a World Cup after 28 years.
- Tendulkar missed out on his 100th hundred but soon achieved the landmark against Bangladesh a year later.
- Pakistan lost to India in the 2015 and 2019 World Cup as well. The scoreline in World Cups currently stands at 7-0 in India’s favour.