In the absence of stalwarts Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, a young Indian cricket team led by newly appointed captain MS Dhoni won the first T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007.
As Indian cricket’s big three decided to skip the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup, very few people expected the Men in Blue to clinch the title in the rainbow nation.
However, MS Dhoni-led side had other ideas as they scripted history by defeating arch-rivals Pakistan in the final of ICC T20 World Cup 2007.
Electing to bat first at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, India rode opener Gautam Gambhir’s 54-ball 75 to post a respectable total of 157/5 in their quota of 20 overs.
In reply, Shoaib Malik’s Pakistan looked well out of contention to chase the total as they required 54 runs in the last four overs.
But, star batsman Misbah-ul-Haq slammed three sixes off Harbhajan Singh and tailender Sohail Tanvir scored 12 runs off four balls to bring Pakistan back into the game.
With Misbah still at the crease, Pakistan required 13 runs off the final over and much to the surprise of cricket fans and pundits, MS Dhoni handed the ball to an inexperienced Joginder Sharma.
Sharma looked nervous as he bowled a wide and followed it up by gifting a juicy full-toss to Misbah, who clobbered it for a huge six over long-off.
However, just when it looked like the trophy was slipping away from India, Misbah miscued his shot while attempting a slog to fine leg and as fate would have it, S Sreesanth caught the ball at short fine leg as India became inaugural champions of T20 World Cup.
Earlier, clubbed in Group D alongside Pakistan and Scotland, India finished as table-toppers. While the Men in Blue defeated Pakistan with the help of a bowl-out, their match against Scotland was abandoned due to rain.
In the Super 8 stage, India lost to New Zealand but beat South Africa and England to qualify for the semi-final.
Interestingly, Yuvraj Singh was the show-stopper in the match against England as he smashed six sixes off pacer Stuart Broad to register the fastest fifty in T20 cricket.
Meanwhile, India defeated Australia in the semi-final to reach the summit clash of the first T20 World Cup.
For India, Gautam Gambhir was the top run-scorer as he amassed 227 runs in seven matches in the tournament while RP Singh was the highest wicket-taker as he bagged 12 wickets.
Featured photo: SAEED KHAN / AFP