Cricket

ICC World T20 2007: 12 years since India's momentous victory over Pakistan in last-over thriller to lift maiden World Twenty20 crown

  • FirstCricket Staff
  • September 24th, 2019
  • 13:19:35 IST

Twelve years ago, on this day, India edged Pakistan in the 2007 World Twenty20 final by five runs.

And it transformed Indian cricket's landscape with the birth of Indian Premier League the following year and the sport has never been the same since.

It was India's first major silverware since the historic 1983 World Cup, barring the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy when rain forced them to share the trophy and the prize money with Sri Lanka.

India's players cheer while holding the ICC World Twenty20 trophy after they defeated Pakistan in the final cricket match in Johannesburg September 24, 2007. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings (SOUTH AFRICA). MOBILE OUT. NOT FOR SALE OR DISTRIBUTION ON MOBILE DEVICES. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. - GM1DWFNCCXAA

Indian players celebrate with the ICC World Twenty20 trophy after defeating Pakistan in the final. Reuters

But denying their arch-rivals Pakistan a chance to add to their trophy collection must have been a whole lot sweeter, considering the political tension and shared history.

While the MS Dhoni-led India’s triumph created a hysteria, its cricket board, BCCI, had almost scuttled it when they voted against the slam-bang format in an ICC meeting.

At a time when other boards were busy accommodating the abridged format, hoping to tap new markets and fill empty galleries, a defiant BCCI maintained its rigid stance that India was not ready for the ‘slogathon’ called Twenty20 and the Board’s top brass felt it could have an adverse effect on the 50-over game.

Subsequently, when the matter came up for voting in an ICC meeting, India was the lone country to vote against the format, even though Twenty20 got a huge thumbs-up with all other nine Test-playing countries voting in its favour.

With BCCI not patronising the format, the Indian squad left for South Africa having played just one Twenty20 international.

But the inexperience did not stop them from pulling off four wins in a row to lift the trophy.

The inaugural edition of the Twenty20 cricket world championship, held in South Africa, had brought a thrilling tournament to a fitting climax.

There was the usual manic atmosphere you would expect when the two subcontinental sides resumed their rivalry at a packed Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

India had stormed into the final with a sensational 15-run victory over the formidable Australians, riding on Yuvraj Singh's blistering strokeplay.

The same Yuvraj Singh had hit six sixes in an over against England to keep India's semifinal hopes alive.

After winning the toss and chosing to bat first, India lost opener Yusuf Pathan and No 3 Robin Uthappa inside the first six overs. Umar Gul's canny pace variations accounted for the wickets of Yuvraj and Dhoni. But Gautam Gambhir stood out with a crucial knock of 75 off 54 balls, striking eight fours and two sixes and Rohit Sharma's late flurry helped India to a total of 157.

RP Singh wrecked Pakistan's chase early picking up Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal but the in-form batsman Imran Nazir took 21 runs off Sreesanth's first over smashing two fours and two sixes. But his run out was one of many turning points in a see-saw match.

Younis Khan fell for a run-a-ball 24 and captain Shoaib Malik laboured for his 8 runs off 17 balls. Shahid Afridi was dismissed for a golden duck.

Then Misbah ul-Haq took over, battering three massive sixes off Harbhajan Singh while the seamers were slowly but successfully cleaning up the tail around him.

Pakistan needed 13 runs in the last over with one wicket in hand.

Dhoni entrusted gentle medium pacer Joginder Sharma to see India home.

Misbah on strike.

Joginder begins with a wide and oohs and aahs follow.

A play and a miss off the first official ball of the over.

Misbah smashes a towering six off the third ball, a full-toss outside off.

Thousands of fans bite their nails.

6 off 4.

Misbah tries to scoop the ball over short fine-leg but it ends up straight into the hands of Sreesanth.

And India win by 5 runs.

The unconventional shot Misbah played in the last over will continue to haunt him for a long, long time.

12 years on, India, though, will look back at the 2007 World T20 fondly as the cricket's shortest format changed the very dynamics of international cricket.

Updated Date: September 24, 2019 13:19:35 IST

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