World Cup 2011 10th anniversary: MS Dhoni to Kevin O'Brien - Top five batting performances that lit up the tournament
- MS Dhoni, Kevin O'Brien, Gautam Gambhir, Andrew Strauss, Yuvraj Singh: Here is a look at the top five batting performances from the 2011 ODI World Cup.
India lifted their second ODI World Cup trophy in 2011 under MS Dhoni's leadership after defeating Sri Lanka in the final at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. While the tournament is remembered for Yuvraj Singh's all-round show and India's tribute to Sachin Tendulkar after winning the prestigious trophy, there were some great batting performances throughout the tournament that also grabbed the headlines.
Here is a look at the top five batting performances from the 2011 ODI World Cup:
Kevin O'Brien v England, 113 off 63
Who does not love an underdog story? Ireland scripted a memorable win at the World Cup against England, courtesy of Kevin O' Brien, who became a household name after his blistering knock of 113 runs in 63 balls. When England set up a target of 328 runs for Ireland, no one believed that the minnows will be able to chase it down. O' Brien came to bat in the 23rd over, as Ireland went four wickets down for 106. After Gary Wison was dismissed two overs later, O'Brien started the fireworks and scripted a sensational 162-run stand with Alex Cusack who added 47 runs to the cause. O'Brien hammered six sixes and 13 fours in his innings as he scored at a strike rate of 179.37. By the time he was run out in the 49th over, the job was done and John Mooney finished things off in style. Ireland won by three wickets, with five balls in hand. I repeat, who does not love an underdog story!
Yuvraj Singh v Australia, 57 off 65
Yuvraj Singh was the star of India's World Cup campaign in 2011. All of his innings could be listed as memorable ones - be it his aggressive fifty against England, or his patient century against West Indies on a day when he was feeling unwell. But Yuvraj's best at the World Cup was surely in the quarterfinal against Australia, when he smashed 57 runs off 65 balls to help his team make it through to the semifinals, and knock out the four-time World Champions from the tournament. Yuvraj came to bat when India were losing quick wickets in the middle overs in the 261-run chase. The men-in-blue needed a partnership at the time but also needed to be aggressive to ensure the asking rate does not climb up. Yuvraj and Suresh Raina went about their business in style, as they stitched an unbeaten 74-run stand to win the encounter. As Yuvraj struck the winning runs, he was seen celebrating in the middle knowing India had done what was once considered impossible - ousting Australia from the World Cup.
Andrew Strauss v India, 158 off 145
One of the best encounters at the ODI World Cup 2011 took place between India and England. India batting legend Sachin Tendulkar smashed 120 runs in 115 balls in the match as the co-hosts were bowled out for 338 in Bengaluru in the Group B match. But while India fans would like to remember Tendulkar's knock, it was England captain Andrew Strauss who really stole the show with his 145-ball 158-run innings, in which he scored at a strike rate of 108.97. The left-hander struck 18 fours and 1 six in his innings and the best bit about his batting was that he played no risky shots at all. He set up the match for England, but the thrilling contest ended in a tie. Alas, there was no Super Over back then and the two teams shared the points.
MS Dhoni 91* vs SL in final
Who does not remember the shot from MS Dhoni off Sri Lanka pacer Nuwan Kulasekara that went into the stands? Throughout the World Cup 2011, Dhoni's performance with the bat was under the scanner as the India captain had struggled to get runs on the board. But after India lost the important wicket of Virat Kohli in the middle overs, Dhoni promoted himself up the batting order over the in-form Yuvraj Singh and went on to play a memorable innings of 91* to help India win the World Cup trophy. It was a career-defining captain's knock and to this day, it is remembered as one of Dhoni's finest hours.
Gautam Gambhir 97 vs SL in final
While MS Dhoni's knock of 91* is credited for India's 2011 World Cup win, one must never forget the important contribution played by Gautam Gambhir in the all-important final against Sri Lanka to set up the win for India. After Virender Sehwag was dismissed in the first over, and Sachin Tendulkar was also dismissed cheaply, Gambhir carried the show forward, stitching crucial partnerships with Kohli, and Dhoni. He was dismissed for 97, but if it had not been for him, Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh would have faced a task that would be difficult for them in the 274-run chase.