13 years ago on this day (September 24, 2007), India defeated Pakistan in the finals to win the inaugural edition of ICC T20 World Cup in South Africa. Under the leadership of MS Dhoni, a young and inexperienced team defied all the odds and clinched the elusive title. Though the journey to glory wasn’t easy at all, the Men in Blue showed great character and played like true champions. Heroes emerged from the tournament as the youngsters showcased their prowess when their side needed them the most. From Yuvraj Singh’s mayhem against England to Gautam Gambhir’s brilliant half-century, there are many performances of Indian players which are still cherished by fans. Yuvraj Singh Recalls Six Sixes on 13th Anniversary.
With the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble opting out of the tournament, many didn’t back in India to go far in the competition. However, MS Dhoni and Co had other ideas. They started the campaign by defeating arch-rivals Pakistan in a thrilling bowl-out. India, however, then lost to New Zealand but made a sensational comeback against England. The Men in Blue also went on to defeat hosts South Africa in virtual quarter-finals before thrashing the mighty Australians in the semis. They met Pakistan again in the final encounter and registered an emphatic five-run victory. As India’s historic triumph celebrates 13th anniversary, let’s revisit five individual performances by Indian players which one can never forget. Here’s a Look at Forgotten Facts About India's 2007 T20 World Cup Triumph!
1. Yuvraj Singh – 58 vs England in Durban
You don’t often see a batsman scoring a half-century in a T20 match after coming out to bat in the 17th over. However, Yuvraj Singh did that against the Three Lions. Before the 19th over, the southpaw got involved in a heated argument with Andrew Flintoff and what happened next is history. Yuvraj smashed Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over and shook the cricket world. He also scored a half-century off 12 balls which is still the fastest in international cricket. Riding on his efforts, India went on to win the game by 18 runs.
2. Yuvraj Singh – 70 vs Australia in Durban
Yuvraj Singh was on a roll in the T20 World Cup, and that’s the reason why he features twice in this list. In the high-voltage semi-final clash against the mighty Australian team, India were reduced to 41/2, and the dasher walked in. He attacked the bowlers from the outset and pulled things back for his side. The likes of Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson were smashed all over the park as Yuvraj scored 700 off just 30 deliveries. Thanks to his mayhem, India posted 188-5 while batting first and went on to win the game by 15 runs.
3. Gautam Gambhir – 75 vs Pakistan in Johannesburg
Gambhir showcased great character against Pakistan in the finals and played a sensational knock. Batting first in the high-voltage encounter, India lost wickets at regular intervals, but the opener wasn’t ready to put his guards down. He didn’t just play sensibly but also scored runs at a reasonable rate. The southpaw guided India to 157-5 which proved to be enough as Pakistan lost the game by five runs.
4. Irfan Pathan – 3/16 vs Pakistan in Johannesburg
Gambhir wasn’t India’s lone hero in the final encounter. Defending a tricky total, Pakistan lost wickets early in the innings, but their scoring rate was always manageable. However, Irfan Pathan ran through Pakistan’s middle order to tighten his side’s grip over the match. The left-arm pacer dismissed the likes of Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi and Yasir Arafat made things difficult for the Men in Green.
5. RP Singh – 4/13 vs South Africa in Durban
Despite scoring 153-5 while batting first, India had to restrict South Africa under 126 to qualify for the semi-finals. With the like of Herschelle Gibbs, Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers being in the Proteas camp, India’s victory was highly unlikely. However, RP Singh put up a bowling exhibition and took the opposition batting line-up by storm. The left-arm pacer scalped wickets regularly alongside keeping the scoring rate down. As a result, the home team was restricted to 116/9 as MS Dhoni, and Co won the game, and advanced to the knock-out stage.