2011 was the year when the 10th edition of ICC Cricket World Cup was played. It was the third world cup to be played in Asia.
Initially, Pakistan was also one of co-hosts for the world cup but security situation of the country stripped Pakistan off hosting rights.
So, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka hosted the tenth edition of ultimate cricket competition. 14 teams participated in the 2011 world cup, two groups of 7 teams were formed and the group stage was followed by the quarter-finals, only the second time the QF format was used in world cup, the first being in 1996.
Group A included defending champions Australia, Canada, Kenya, New Zealand, 92 winners Pakistan, 96 champions Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. Group B included Bangladesh, England, 1983 winners India, Ireland, Netherlands, South Africa and West Indies.
There was no drama in group A as the four major test sides easily qualified for the last eight. Pakistan topped the group with 5 wins out of 6. Against Sri Lanka, Pakistan won a tight contest by 11 runs to maintain the unbeaten record against the Lankans in ODI World Cup.
Canada restricted Pakistan to a meagre 184 but the formidable Pakistani bowling line-up defended the low total with ease. Pakistan’s only defeat in the group-stage came against New Zealand, a punching hundred from Ross Taylor provided a comfortable win for the Kiwis.
Pakistan achieved one of its finest ODI wins ever when the men in green ended the 34-match unbeaten streak of Australia in ODI World Cup. Batting first, all the Pakistani bowlers chipped in as Aussies were dismissed for 176. The run-chase was a typical Pakistani one, Pakistan almost made a mess of the run-chase before Umar Akmal won the game for Pakistan by 4 wickets.
Sri Lanka and Australia both finished with 9 points each and the hosts pipped the Aussies on net run-rate to grab 2nd spot. Both sides shared the points in their head-to-head clash as the rain didn’t permit a full game.
Sri Lanka’s game against New Zealand was in India rather than at home, yet they had no problem in beating the Kiwis. New Zealand lost against their Trans-Tasman rivals to finish 4th on the points table.
The semi-finalist of 2003 edition Kenya hit rock bottom with no wins in 6 games. Zimbabwe managed 2 wins whereas the Canadians won a single match.
Group B saw more interesting games than group A and though the four major test sides in the group qualified for the quarter-finals but the others teams in the group also played exciting cricket and produced two upsets as well.
South Africa emerged as the toppers in group as they ended up with 5 wins. Against Proteas, the Indians threatened a 350 + total but a stunning spell by Dale Steyn restricted India to 296, a total chased down by South Africa in last over.
The remaining 4 wins for South Africa were quite comfortable ones. India vs England in Bengaluru turned out to be a classic encounter which ended in a tie.
Sachin Tendulkar scored a classy hundred to set up a total of 338 which England threatened to chase down easily due to a superb knock of 158 by Andrew Strauss. However, India came back into the match with some quick wickets and ultimately it finished with the scores level.
India finished 2nd in the group with 9 points. England had a strange campaign in the group stage, they didn’t lose a game against the three major sides in the group but lost 2 out of 3 games against the bottom ranked teams.
Against Ireland, England were on course to win the game but a 50-ball hundred by Kevin O’Brien snatched the victory from the English.
England won against the Dutch but suffered defeat at the hands of Bangladesh. A low-scoring encounter against South Africa was won by England in Chennai and with a win against West Indies as well, England finished third with 7 points.
West Indies and Bangladesh both finished with 6 points but a better NRR paved the way for the qualification of Windies. Bangladesh got bowled out for just 58 against the men from the Caribbean. Netherlands ended up with defeats in all six matches.
Group A winners Pakistan faced the runner-up of group B West Indies in the quarter-final at Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Dhaka. Pakistan’s potent bowling attack proved lethal for the Windies as men in green restricted their opponents to just 112.
The run-chase was an emphatic one as Pakistan won the match without losing a wicket. R. Premadasa stadium in Colombo hosted the home team’s QF against England.
England ran out of energy and resources as hundreds from Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan registered a 10-wicket win while chasing 230.
Defending champions Australia faced the challenge of Indians in Ahmedabad. Ricky Ponting fought with a century in the big game and gave Indians a target of 261.
A collective batting effort by the Indian batsmen ended the reign of Australians as world champions. Yuvraj Singh continued his brilliant form in the tournament to win the player of the match award in the quarterfinal.
South Africa vs New Zealand was a big game as both the sides had never won an ODI World Cup knockout match. Batting first, the Kiwis scored 221 and in reply it was going in the Proteas’ favor at 108/2. South Africa collapsed to lose the game by 49 runs as ODI WC knockout win still eluded them.
Sri Lanka & New Zealand faced each other in the first semi-final in Colombo. The home team romped to a second consecutive world cup final with a 5-wicket win.
The second semi-final was the high voltage clash between India and Pakistan at Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali. Batting first, India scored 260. Sachin Tendulkar with all his luck scored 85 as fielding lapses by Pakistan gave the master blaster too many chances.
Pakistan started positively but the pressure of a world cup game against India once again proved decisive in Pakistan’s defeat against arch-rivals in WC. Pakistan lost by 29 runs as India made it 5-0 against their neighbors in ODI World Cup.
So, for the first time the ODI World Cup final was played between two Asian sides, India vs Sri Lanka on 2nd of April at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. The experienced Mahela Jayawardene scored a masterful hundred to give Sri Lanka a solid total to defend.
Chasing 275, India lost their openers early on, Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli made the recovery as Gambhir scored bulk of the runs. MS Dhoni promoted himself to No. 5, scored an unbeaten 91 and then sealed India’s 2nd World Cup title with six off Nuwan Kulasekera.
India won by 6 wickets to become first team from Asia to win more than one ODI World Cup. MS Dhoni won the player of the match award for his captain’s knock in the final whereas Yuvraj Singh was declared as the player of the tournament for his all-round heroics.
Sri Lankan opener Tillakaratne Dilshan with 500 was the leading run-scorer of the tournament and for only the second time in a World Cup two bowlers finished as the leading wicket takers.
Pakistani skipper Shahid Afridi and Indian left-armer Zaheer Khan finished with 21 wickets each.