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A Look Back at the 2007 T20 World Cup: India Triumph in Johannesburg

Introduction

The 2007 T20I World Cup was the inaugural edition of the tournament. It was staged in South Africa between 11th to 24th September of that year.

 

The teams

12 teams took part in that first competition. They comprised the ten test playing nations at that time – Afghanistan and Ireland had not then been granted Full ICC Member Status – plus Kenya and Scotland. They had qualified by finishing first and second in WCL Division One, a 50 over a side mini league, which also featured the Dutch and Irish as well as Canada and Bermuda.

 

The groups

The 12 groups were split into four groups of three teams, determined based on their Twenty20 ranking as of 1st March 2007. The top two teams in each group progressed through to the next stage of the competition.

Group A comprised South Africa, Bangladesh and the West Indies.

Group B featured Australia, England and Zimbabwe.

Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Kenya were in Group C.

India Pakistan and Scotland were drawn in Group D.

 

The group stages

South African and Bangladesh qualified from Group A, the home side with a 100% record, and Bangladesh courtesy of a victory over the West Indies.

Australia, England and Zimbabwe all finished Group B with one win apiece, but the Zimbabweans were eliminated because they had an inferior Net Run Rate.

It was Sri Lanka and New Zealand who progress through from Group C. The Sri Lankans won both their matches, whilst New Zealand beat Kenya in their encounter.

Group D was very tight. Pakistan beat Scotland, but India’s match against the same opponents was washed out. Then when India and Pakistan met, the match ended in a tie, India winning a bowl out. That meant India topped the group ahead of Pakistan

 

Super 8s Format

The Super Eight knock-out format was somewhat controversial in that the top two seeds in each group were pre-determined and did not reflect how countries had actually performed in the group stages.

This time there were two groups:

Group E comprised India, New Zealand, South Africa and England, and Group F Pakistan, Australia, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.

The two in each group advanced to the semi-finals.

 

Super 8s results

In Group A England were knocked out after failing to win a match. The other three teams all finished level on four points each but, much to the disappointment of the organisers and the local fans, South Africa failed to progress due to an inferior Net Run Rate.

Meanwhile Pakistan won all three of their matches in Group F, and they advanced alongside Australia who defeated both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

 

The knock-out games

Both knock-out games were played on 22nd September, the first staged at Newlands in Cape Town, and the second at Kingsmead in Durban.

In the first match, New Zealand, winning the toss and batting first, made 143.8 from their 20 overs. However, Pakistan chased that down with seven balls to spare,

Meanwhile, In Durban, India batted first and made 188/5, led by Yuvraj Singh who made 70. For Australia, Matthew Hayden scored 62, but his side finished 15 runs short.

 

The final

The final was played at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

The Indian captain MS Dhoni won the toss, and chose to bat first. Opener Gautam Gambhir made 75, including 2 sixes and eight fours, but the rest of the batters struggled against accurate pace bowling, with Umar Gul taking 3 – 28.

Both Dhoni and India’s other danger man Yuvraj Singh were out cheaply and it was left to Rohit Sharma to provide some late impetus with an unbeaten 30. Still, there were many Indian fans who wondered if their final total of 157/5 would be enough.

The game appeared to edging Pakistan’s way, especially after one over from fast medium pacer S. Sreesanth went for 21 runs. Fortunately, for India, Irfan Pathan, RP Singh and Joginder Sharma were far more economical slowing the momentum considerably and taking wickets into the bargain.

Pakistan soon fell behind the asking rate, and although Misbah-ul-Haq smashed three sixes off Harbhajan Singh off one over, the odds against them grew and wickets continued to fall.

 

The last over

At the start of the last over, Pakistan needed 13 to win, with just one wicket remaining, although the fact that Misbah was still at the crease unbeaten on 37 gave them some hope. Joginder Sharma was given the responsibility for bowling the final over, and his first delivery was a wide, which he followed up with a dot ball.

His third was a full toss, which Misbah dispatched into the stands for a six. However, the Pakistani then attempted a paddle scoop off the next shot, got it all wrong, and was caught at short fine leg by Sreesanth.

India had won by five runs. Pathan won Player of the Match for his spell of 3 – 16.

It is their only success in the competition to date, although they hope to improve on that record in Australia later this year.

 

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