- India defeated Pakistan by five runs in a thrilling World T20 2007 final at Johannesburg.
- Joginder Sharma dismissed Misbah in the final over and made India the maiden World T20 champions.
- It was India's first ICC trophy under the charge of MS Dhoni.
Yes, it's the ninth anniversary of India's victory in the inaugural edition of the ICC World T20 in 2007 at South Africa.
The triumph was special for our generation - the 90s kids - who were not even born when India last lifted a World Cup trophy in 1983 under the leadership of Kapil Dev.
Hence, Dhoni, who was aggressive, flaunted his long hair and was a big hitter of the game, straightaway became their hero.
The crowd at New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg were at the edge of their seats. The Indian fans there were going wild, shouting "INDIA, INDIA" at the top of their voices, wishing to witness one of the best scenes in Indian cricket.
Eventually, they did witness it.
Pakistan needed 54 runs in the final four overs. While Pakistani skipper Misbah-Ul-Haq fought a lone battle, his teammates kept throwing away wickets at the other end.
Dhoni handed the ball to senior spinner Harbhajan Singh in the 17th over, expecting him to put a break in the opponent's runs scoring. However, he proved to be destructive for India as Misbah attacked him ruthlessly, gathering 19 runs off the over.
Giving the ball to Bhajji again was not an option.
S. Sreesanth was next. Although he was smashed for 15 runs in the 18th over, he dismissed Sohail Tanvir, the new batsman who hit two sixes in the over.
The big screen showed, "Pakistan need 20 off 12 balls."
RP Singh was next in action. He had a decent World Cup and had made the first two breakthroughs for India in the final. The penultimate over in a T20 match is usually more crucial, and Singh did a great job with the ball.
He not only managed to keep an unstoppable Misbah quiet but also reduced Pakistan to nine-down.
Final over: Pakistan was 13 runs away and India was one wicket away from entering the history books.
A determined Misbah was in no way going to go easy in the final over. Dhoni looked around to give the ball for the last over.
When he pointed out at Joginder Sharma, the Indian skipper made a huge gamble by opting for an unheralded bowler for the vital last six balls.
19.1 - To make it worse, Joginder who was already under pressure to bowl the decisive over, began with a wide. (The Indians at the Wanderers Stadium went silent.)
19.1 - He came back with a much better delivery, pitched outside off-stump. Misbah couldn't connect when he tried to go for a stroke.
19.2 - Joginder bowled a full toss and Misbah gave a harsh treatment with a SIX down the ground.
Dhoni's gamble suddenly looked to go against him.
Pakistan needed six runs off four balls. Misbah was a hit away from a single-handedly winning the title for his country.
Alas, the cricketing gods had different ideas.
19.3 - Under pressure, Joginder bowled outside off-stump, gave room to Misbah and forced him to move across the stumps and play a scoop shot. The ball flew to fine leg where Sreesanth got right below it. He finished it with a clean catch to end the drama at Johannesburg!
India won the World T20 2007 Final by five runs. The crowd erupted as the Indian team and support staff members stormed into the field. Almost every player had an Indian flag in hand as they did a victory lap on the ground.
It was India's first-ever ICC trophy under Dhoni's reign. From there on embarked the 'Dhoni-charm.' He overnight became India's hero.
Dhoni won the title against the odds. He was sent to South Africa without a senior player in the team. The big names like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly had opted not to participate since the shortest format of the sport was just growing and was not given significant importance back then.
It happened to be the T20 format that brought back glory to India in cricket. They needed a Dhoni to do that. He is the only captain in cricket to have all the ICC trophies - Cricket World Cup, World T20 and Champions Trophy - in his cabinet.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:35 PM