Dhoni: I wanted 100% effort

2007-09-24 19:13
Johannesburg - India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni says their victory over Pakistan was a "real team effort."

India's young team snatched the inaugural Twenty20 title after defeating arch-rivals Pakistan by five runs in a thrilling final at the Wanderers.

Top Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan was at hand to witness India take home the winner's purse of $490 000 while Pakistan received no prize money for their efforts in the final.

The India Cricket Board announced a separate bonus of $2m for the triumphant team which had played just one Twenty20 international before the tournament and were without senior pros Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly.

Dhoni said after his team's victory: "I'm so proud of my team for fighting till the end and never giving up hope.

'Lost too many wickets'

"I had told them before the match that all I needed was 100% effort...it did not matter if we won or lost. We gave it our all and won in the end."

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik also praised his young team, saying they did not go down without a fight.

"We kept India to under 160, but lost too many wickets at the start," said Malik. "But I am very happy my team did not give up hope and fought till the end."

Pakistan appeared out for the count when they were reduced to 104-7 after 16 overs, but Misbah-ul Haq gave Indi a scare with a late charge of 43 off 38 balls.

Misbah and his tail-end partners took 19 runs in the 17th over bowled by spinner Harbhajan Singh, 13 in the 18th of Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and seven runs in the 19th from Rudra Pratap Singh, leaving 13 to get off the final over.

Seamer Joginder Sharma bowled a wide off the first ball and was hammered for a six by Misbah with the second legitimate ball, but gave India victory with his next delivery as the batsman holed out to fine-leg.

Player of the tournament

Rudra Pratap and Irfan Pathan claimed three wickets each as Pakistan's jinx of never having beaten India in a World Cup or world championship match continued.

India's innings was restricted by seamer Umar Gul who scalped three prize wickets of Yuvraj Singh, Dhoni and top-scorer Gautam Gambhir.

Gambhir slammed 75 off 54 balls, studded with eight boundaries and two sixes, but none of the other batsmen settled in to play a long innings.

The best partnership in the innings was between Gambhir and Yuvraj, who put on 63 for the third wicket.

India's total was boosted by Rohit Sharma and Irfan Pathan who plundered 27 runs in the final two overs. Sharma remained unbeaten on a 16-ball 30.

Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi was declared the player of the tournament despite falling for zero in the final.

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