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The Last Four Overs


And to think that it had seemed all but over in the 17th over when Misbah-ul-Haq clobbered Harbhajan Singh for three sixes. Pakistan were 104 -7, needing 54 runs from the last four overs with only three wickets in han


And to think that it had seemed all but over in the 17th over when Misbah-ul-Haq clobbered Harbhajan Singh for three sixes. Pakistan were 104 -7, needing 54 runs from the last four overs with only three wickets in hand and India seemed to have the upper hand. This is when Harbhajan Singh came to bowl his third over (17th of the innings) with Misbah-ul-Haq on strike. This is how it went:

16.1 Harbhajan Singh to Misbah-ul-Haq, wide, 53 runs required in 24 balls
16.1 Harbhajan Singh to Misbah-ul-Haq, dot ball - 53 in 23
16.2 Harbhajan Singh to Misbah-ul-Haq, 6 - 47 in 22
16.3 Harbhajan Singh to Misbah-ul-Haq, dot ball - 47 in 21
16.4 Harbhajan Singh to Misbah-ul-Haq, dot ball - 47 in 20
16.5 Harbhajan Singh to Misbah-ul-Haq, 6 - 41 in 19
16.6 Harbhajan Singh to Misbah-ul-Haq, 6. - 35 in 18

With three more overs to go, Pakistan now needed 35 runs with three wickets in hand when S Sreesanth came to bowl.

17.1 Sreesanth to Sohail Tanvir, 6 - 29 in 17
17.2 Sreesanth to Sohail Tanvir, wide - 28 in 17
17.2 Sreesanth to Sohail Tanvir, leg bye, 1 - 27 in 16
17.3 Sreesanth to Misbah-ul-Haq, dot ball - 27 in 15
17.4 Sreesanth to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run - 26 in 14
17.5 Sreesanth to Sohail Tanvir, 6 - 20 in 13
17.6 Sreesanth to Sohail Tanvir, Out. - 20 in 12

After another productive over, Pakistan were 20-run away from the win but now had two wickets in hand and two overs at their disposal when RP Singh came to bowl.

18.1 RP Singh to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run - 19 in 11
18.2 RP Singh to Umar Gul, bye 1 - 18 in 10
18.3 RP Singh to Misbah-ul-Haq, dot ball - 18 in 9
18.4 RP Singh to Misbah-ul-Haq, leg bye 1 - 17 in 8
18.5 RP Singh to Umar Gul, Out - 17 in 7, last wkt
18.6 RP Singh to Mohammad Asif, 4 - 13 in 6

Pakistan needed 13 runs from the last over. "Harbhajan was not sure of getting his yorkers right so I decided to give the last over to Joginder, who wanted to make a name for himself in international cricket," Dhoni was to say later. After the clobbering in the 17th over, who could blame Harbhajan? Or Dhoni, for that matter. Obviously, the ghosts of another Sharma [Chetan] bowling the crucial last over to a Pakistani batsman [Javed Miandad] have long been laid to rest. Or perhaps this team is just too young to have any such bad, lingering memories. Joginder Sharmn had bowled the final over in the semi-final victory over Australia, when they had needed 22 runs. But the pressure this time around was telling, as he started the over with a wide:

19.1 Joginder Sharma to Misbah-ul-Haq, wide - 12 in 6
19.1 Joginder Sharma to Misbah-ul-Haq, dot ball - 12 in 5
19.2 Joginder Sharma to Misbah-ul-Haq, 6 - 6 in 4
19.3 Joginder Sharma to Misbah-ul-Haq, OUT!

Sreesanth had caught the Twenty20 world cup in his hands.

The firecrackers could be heard loud and clear through out the country, echoing and reverberating through all the TV channels as well. Not that they needed any amplification. Or televised transmission. Brass-bands. Wild, loud drum-beats. Dhols. Crackers. It was all in the air.

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