World Cup

Cricket World Cup 2011: India Lifts the World Cup After 28 Years

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 was the tenth edition of the tournament. It was played in India, Sri Lanka, and, for the first time, Bangladesh.

India won the event by defeating Sri Lanka by 6 wickets in the final at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, becoming the first country to win the Cricket World Cup final on home soil. Yuvraj Singh of India was named the Player of the Tournament. 

Two Asian nations played against each other in the World Cup final for the first time ever. Australia didn’t qualify for the final for the first time since the 1992 World Cup.

Now, let’s see how the 2011 Cricket World Cup unfolded.

The Build-Up


Late in 2007, a revised format for the 2011 World Cup was brought in, which was identical to the 1996 World Cup, except it included 14 teams instead of 12. The tournament’s opening round would feature 2 groups of 7 teams.

Each group’s teams would play each other once, and the top 4 from each group would advance to the quarterfinals. This assured that each team played at least six games.


A total of 8 venues in India hosted 29 World Cup matches; 3 venues in Sri Lanka hosted 12 matches; and 2 venues in Bangladesh hosted 8 matches. R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo hosted the first semifinal, and IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali hosted the second semifinal. While Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium was decked up to host the memorable final.


This event included 14 cricket teams, including 10 full members and four associate members of the International Cricket Council (ICC). 

  • Australia
  • England 
  • India 
  • New Zealand 
  • Pakistan
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • West Indies
  • Zimbabwe
  • Bangladesh
  • Kenya
  • Ireland
  • Canada
  • Netherlands


The host country, India, and the former champions, Australia and Pakistan, were the favourites for this World Cup.

2011 World Cup Group Matches

Match 1: February 19 | Bangladesh vs India

The opening match between Bangladesh and India was a high-scoring affair. After being asked to bat first, India posted a staggering total of 370/4 on the board. Virender Sehwag smashed 175 off 140 balls, while Virat Kohli (100*) scored his first century in the World Cup. In response, Bangladesh could only manage to score 283 runs, and India won by 87 runs.

Match 2: February 20 | Kenya vs New Zealand

Kenya elected to bat first; however, they were skittled for a paltry 69 runs by New Zealand. The chase was rather easy for New Zealand, as they reached the target in 8 overs.

Match 3: February 20 | Sri Lanka vs Canada

Riding on the back of Mahela Jayawardene’s 100 and captain Kumar Sangakkara’s 92, Sri Lanka posted 332/7 on the scoreboard. Later, Sri Lankan bowlers destroyed the Canadian batting lineup and bowled them for 122 runs, resulting in Sri Lanka winning by 210 runs.

Match 4: February 21 | Australia vs Zimbabwe

Batting first, Australia scored 262 runs in 50 overs. Then Zimbabwe was bowled out for 171 runs, thanks to an absolute carnage from Mitchell Johnson (4/19), helping Australia win by 91 runs.

Match 5: February 22 | England vs Netherlands

In an even-contested game between these two European sides, the Netherlands managed to score 292 runs, largely thanks to Ryan ten Doeschate’s 119 runs. In response, England got off to a solid start and went on to win the match by 6 wickets.

Match 6: February 23 | Kenya vs Pakistan

In a one-sided game, Pakistan scored 317 runs against a weak Kenyan bowling attack. Kenya was then bundled out for 112 runs, and Pakistan won by 205 runs.

Match 7: February 24 | South Africa vs West Indies

Bowling first, South Africa managed to restrict the Windies to 222 runs in 47.3 overs. Later, the Proteas cruised easily towards the target and registered a win by 7 wickets.

Match 8: February 25 | Australia vs New Zealand

Mitchell Johnson (4/33) again produced a breathtaking performance with the ball for Australia, and as a result, the Kiwis were bowled out for 206 runs. In response, Australia chased down the target in 34 overs and won the game by 7 wickets.

Match 9: February 25 | Bangladesh vs Ireland

Bangladesh elected to bat first; however, they could only manage to post 205 runs on the board. The target wasn’t big, but the Irish batters couldn’t stand on the crease pitch for a longer duration, resulting in Bangladesh winning the match by 27 runs.

Match 10: February 26 | Sri Lanka vs Pakistan

Misbah-ul-Haq’s unbeaten 83 ensured Pakistan posted a fighting total of 277 on the scoreboard. In response, Sri Lanka got a decent start, but they kept losing wickets at crucial points and fell short by 11 runs.

Match 11: February 27 | India vs England

Cricket enthusiasts witnessed a thrilling match in the 2011 World Cup between India and England. India, batting first, posted 338/10 in 49.5 overs, riding on the back of Sachin Tendulkar’s 120 runs. While chasing, England’s openers provided a good start; however, they lost a bunch of wickets in the last 10 overs, including captain Andrew Strauss (158). But later, Graeme Swann and Ajmal Shahzad managed to pull off a miraculous tie, making it one of the tied matches in World Cup history.

Match 12: February 28 | Canada vs Zimbabwe

Tatenda Taibu’s 98 took Zimbabwe’s total to 298/9 in 50 overs. In response, the Canadian batters were no challenge to the Zimbabwe bowlers and were bowled out for 123 runs, resulting in Zimbabwe winning by 175 runs.

Match 13: February 28 | Netherlands vs West Indies

The West Indies’ top order flourished against the Netherlands, helping their team reach 330 runs. Later, Kemar Roach produced wonderful bowling figures in the World Cup grabbing 6 wickets for 27 runs and helped the Windies win the match by a staggering 215 runs.

Match 14: March 1 | Sri Lanka vs Kenya

After losing their openers early, Collins Obuya (52) and David Obuya (51) put on a 94-run partnership for 3rd wicket. But once they were gone, the Kenyan batting lineup fell like a pack of cards and posted a mere 142 on the board. In response, Sri Lanka chased down the target in 19 overs and won by 9 wickets.

Match 15: March 2 | England vs Ireland

Jonathan Trott’s 92 helped England post 327 on the scoreboard. In reply, Ireland was at 111/5 at one point, and then the world saw complete destruction from Kevin O’Brien’s bat. The Irish batter hammered 113 runs off 63 balls and helped his side pull off a massive upset in the history of ODI cricket by defeating England by 3 wickets.

Match 16: March 3 | Netherlands vs South Africa

Riding on the back of 2 centuries from Hashim Amla (113) and AB de Villiers (134), South Africa scored 351 runs. Apart from Wesley Barresi (44), no other batter from the Netherlands even reached 20 runs and lost the game by 231 runs.

Match 17: March 3 | Canada vs Pakistan

Pakistan’s batting lineup failed in front of the subordinate Canadian bowling attack and managed to score only 184 runs. If not for Shahid Afridi’s match-winning 5-wicket haul, Canada would have managed to beat Pakistan.

Match 18: March 4 | New Zealand vs Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe decided to bat first; however, the decision didn’t materialise in their way as they were dismissed for 162 runs. In response, New Zealand chased down the target easily with 10 wickets in hand.

Match 19: March 4 | Bangladesh vs West Indies

In a horrible performance with the bat, Bangladesh was bowled out for a paltry 58 runs by the Windies in their own backyard. Kemar Roach (3/19), Sulieman Benn (4/18), and Daren Sammy (3/21) shared the 10 wickets among them. Later, the Windies chased down the target in 13 overs with 9 wickets in hand.

Match 20: March 5 | Sri Lanka vs Australia

Sri Lanka was on 146/3 in 32.5 overs before rain interrupted the game. The match couldn’t resume and ended with no result.

Match 21: March 6 | England vs South Africa

In a low-scoring thriller, England scored 171/10 while batting first as Imran Tahir (4/38) and Robin Peterson (3/28) ran through their batting lineup. While chasing, South Africa got off to a good start, but then Stuart Broad (4/15) got crucial breakthroughs for England and bowled out South Africa for 165 runs.

Match 22: March 6 | India vs Ireland

Despite captain William Porterfield’s 75, Ireland managed to score 207 runs as Yuvraj Singh picked up a 5-wicket haul. Later, Singh also showed his all-round ability with the bat (50) and helped India win by 5 wickets.

Match 23: March 7 | Canada vs Kenya

Batting first, Kenya managed to post 198 runs on the scoreboard. In response, Canada had a rough start, but captain Ashish Bagai (64*) and Jimmy Hansra (70) stitched an important partnership of 132 runs for the 4th wicket and helped their side win by 5 wickets.

Match 24: March 8 | New Zealand vs Pakistan

Riding on Ross Taylor’s unbeaten knock of 131 runs, New Zealand managed to reach 302 runs in 50 overs. Later, the Kiwi bowlers bundled out the Pakistani batting lineup for 192 runs and registered a win by 110 runs.

Match 25: March 9 | India vs Netherlands

Yuvraj Singh’s all-round performance (2/43 and 51*) again played a pivotal role in India’s win. Batting first, the Netherlands were bowled out for 189 runs. In response, India chased down the target in 33 overs with 5 wickets in hand.

Match 26: March 10 | Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe

Upul Tharanga (133) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (144) built the highest opening partnership in ODI World Cup history (282) and helped Sri Lanka post 327 runs on the board. In response, Zimbabwe also put up a solid opening partnership of 116 runs, but once they lost both openers, it all went down, and Sri Lanka won by 139 runs.

Match 27: March 11 | Ireland vs West Indies

Devon Smith’s 107 and Kieron Pollard’s quickfire 94 off 55 balls powered the Windies to 275 runs. While chasing, Ed Joyce tried to win the game for Ireland, but their lower order completely failed, resulting in a loss by 44 runs.

Match 28: March 11 | Bangladesh vs England

In another upset for England, Bangladesh defeated them by 2 wickets. Batting first, England was bowled out for 225 runs, and then the Bangla Tigers chased down the target with 2 wickets to spare.

Match 29: March 12 | India vs South Africa

Sachin Tendulkar’s 111 runs powered India to a total of 296 runs. However, the score wasn’t enough as South Africa conquered the target in the last over with 3 wickets in hand and handed India their only loss in the 2011 edition.

Match 30: March 13 | Canada vs New Zealand

Batting first, New Zealand posted 358 runs on the board, thanks to Brendon McCullum’s 101 runs. While chasing, captain Ashish Bagai (84) partnered with Jimmy Hansra (70*) for a 125-run 4th wicket partnership, but it wasn’t enough as they could only reach 261/9 and New Zealand won by 97 runs.

Match 31: March 13 | Australia vs Kenya

Michael Clarke’s 93 off 80 balls took Australia to a score of 324 runs. In response, Collins Obuya’s 98*, along with Tanmay Mishra (72), gave a fight, but they fell short by 60 runs.

Match 32: March 14 | Bangladesh vs Netherlands

Batting first, the Netherlands could only manage to score 160 runs. In reply, Bangladesh chased down the target with 6 wickets to spare.

Match 33: March 14 | Pakistan vs Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe was on 151/7 in 39.4 overs when the rain interrupted their innings. Later, they couldn’t resume batting, and the game was reduced to 38 overs, with Pakistan set a target of 162 runs through the DLS method. Then Asad Shafiq (78) made the chase easy for Pakistan, helping them secure a win by 7 wickets.

Match 34: March 15 | Ireland vs South Africa

Jean-Paul Duminy’s 99 took South Africa to a score of 272 runs. While chasing, Ireland was dismissed for 141 runs and South Africa registered a thumping win by 131 runs.

Match 35: March 16 | Australia vs Canada

After electing to bat first, Canada managed to score 211 runs. The chase was rather easy for Australia, as openers Shane Watson (94) and Brad Haddin (88) did the major work and won by 7 wickets.

Match 36: March 17 | England vs West Indies

Batting first, England posted 243 runs on the scoreboard. While defending the target, James Tredwell (4/48), Graeme Swann (3/36), and Ravi Bopara (2/22) strangled the Windies batters, and England won by 18 runs.

Match 37: March 18 | Ireland vs Netherlands

Ryan ten Doeschate’s 106 runs helped the Netherlands score 306 runs in 50 overs. But his excellent batting effort went in vain, as Paul Stirling hammered 101 off 72 balls to pull off a victory for Ireland by 6 wickets.

Match 38: March 18 | New Zealand vs Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka posted 265/9 on the scoreboard, thanks to captain Kumar Sangakkara’s knock of 111 runs. In response, the Kiwis were skittled out for 153 runs, resulting in Sri Lanka winning the match by 112 runs.

Match 39: March 19 | Bangladesh vs South Africa

Batting first, South Africa put up 284/8 on the board. Apart from captain Shakib Al Hasan (30), no other Bangladeshi batter could reach double digits, and they were bowled out for 78.

Match 40: March 19 | Australia vs Pakistan

Australia’s batting lineup had a complete meltdown in front of a fierce Pakistani bowling attack, as they were bundled out for 176 runs. Later, Brett Lee (4/28) tried to trouble the Pakistani batters, but in the end, Pakistan prevailed and won by 4 wickets.

Match 41: March 20 | Kenya vs Zimbabwe

Batting first, Zimbabwe managed to post a huge total of 308 runs in 50 overs. Later, Zimbabwe skittled Kenya for 147 runs and registered a win by 161 runs.

Match 42: March 20 | India vs West Indies

Yuvraj Singh’s wonderful all-round performance with the bat (113) and the ball (2/18) helped India beat the Windies by 80 runs. Batting first, India posted 268 runs on the board. While chasing, the Windies were bowled out for 188 runs.

Knockout Stage

1st Quarterfinal: March 23 | Pakistan vs West Indies

The Windies were bowled out for a mere 112 runs, with Shivnarine Chanderpaul (44) top-scoring with the bat. Later, Pakistan’s openers chased down the target with 10 wickets in hand.

2nd Quarterfinal: March 24 | India vs Australia

Batting first, Australia posted 260/6, thanks to captain Ricky Ponting’s 104 runs. Yuvraj Singh again starred for India with his all-round performance (2/44 and 57*), helping India win by 5 wickets.

3rd Quarterfinal: March 25 | New Zealand vs South Africa

After electing to bat first, New Zealand managed to score 221 runs. In response, South Africa was dismissed for 172 runs, and New Zealand won by 49 runs.

4th Quarterfinal: March 26 | Sri Lanka vs England

Jonathan Trott’s 86 took England to a fighting total of 229 runs. But the target seemed too small for the Sri Lankan openers, as they chased it down in 40 overs with 10 wickets to spare.

1st Semi-Final: March 29 | Sri Lanka vs New Zealand

When New Zealand won the toss and decided to bat first, the Sri Lankan bowlers Mendis, Malinga, and Muralidharan completely destroyed their first inning. Finally, the New Zealand squad scored 217/10 in 48.5 overs. In response, Sri Lanka struggled in the second innings, but they eventually reached 220/5 in 47.5 overs and won the match by 5 wickets.

2nd Semi-Final: March 30 | India vs Pakistan

The second semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 was played on March 30, 2011, at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali between India and Pakistan. India won the toss and chose to bat, scoring 260 runs in 50 overs while losing 9 wickets. Pakistan, after a promising start, fell short, being all out for 231 runs in 49.5 overs. As a result, India won the match by 29 runs and qualified for the 2011 Cricket World Cup Final, while Pakistan was eliminated from the tournament.

Final: April 02 | India vs Sri Lanka

After winning the toss, Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara opted to bat first. The squad scored steadily until the 17th over when both openers were lost.

Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene added 62 runs before being removed for 48 runs. Despite wickets falling at one end, Jayawardene hit 103 runs in 88 deliveries and shared a 66-run partnership with Thisara Perera. At the end of the inning, the pair had brought Sri Lanka’s total to 274 runs.

In response, India’s opener, Virender Sehwag, was out LBW by Lasith Malinga on the second ball of the inning. Sachin Tendulkar also left abruptly. Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli accumulated 83 runs in 15 overs before the latter was caught in the 22nd over.

MS Dhoni, who was promoted up the order, joined Gambhir, and they both added 109 runs, an Indian record in a World Cup final. In the 42nd over, Gambhir was out for 97 runs.

India won the match by 6 wickets in the 49th over after chasing down the total. Dhoni was named Player of the Match after scoring 91 runs, while Yuvraj Singh was named Player of the Tournament.

Special Moments in the World Cup of 2011

Sachin Tendulkar’s Dream Comes Alive

Sachin Tendulkar had been waiting for this moment for 22 years. He finally got his hands on the dream trophy after those years in what was his last World Cup. Following the game, the Indian players paid tribute to Sachin Tendulkar, who was competing in his final World Cup.

India Lifted the World Cup After 28 Years

India appeared behind for much of their 2011 final chase until MS Dhoni took the crease. His 91* was legendary with Gautam Gambhir’s 97, and Dhoni sealed the victory with a massive helicopter shot over long-on. What a player, and what a setting!

For India and its cricket fans, the 2011 Cricket World Cup final was a dream come true. India had at last won the trophy after 28 years of heartache. Millions of Indians gathered at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai to celebrate their team’s victory and the atmosphere there was electrifying.

Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien Defeats England

On March 2, 2011, Ireland was chasing 327 against England and appeared to be out of the game when Kevin O’Brien stepped to the crease. The Irish team won with O’Brien scoring 113 runs from 63 deliveries, a simply remarkable show of individual brilliance and the biggest upset of the tournament.

Bangladesh’s Furious Fans

Bangladeshi fans threw rocks at the West Indies team bus as the Windies players were returning to their hotel following their March 4 victory against Bangladesh in Dhaka. The stone pelters were later said to have confused the bus with the Bangladesh team bus.  Following the attack, Bangladesh’s elite Rapid Action Battalion detained 38 people, and the West Indies received an apology.

Pakistan Lost Co-host Status

The International Cricket Council (ICC) declared in April 2009 that Pakistan had lost its right to co-host the 2011 World Cup due to worries over the “uncertain security situation” in the country, particularly in the aftermath of the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka national cricket team in Lahore.

The Final Match Toss had to be Redone

When Indian captain Dhoni tossed the coin before the final between India and Sri Lanka, there was loud crowd noise that prevented match referee Jeff Crowe from hearing Sri Lankan captain Sangakkara’s call. The coin toss had to be redone, which is quite an unusual occurrence, especially at such a high-profile event as the World Cup final.

England vs India Tied Game

For England fans, the 2011 World Cup was mainly a bad experience, and when they were set 339 to win against India, it just seemed to get worse. Andrew Strauss’s 158 resulted in a remarkable tie — hardly someone you’d expect to be doing the damage in white-ball cricket!

Muttiah Muralitharan’s last ODI

The final match of the Cricket World Cup 2011 was the last ODI match played by the legend Muttiah Muralitharan.

Final Thoughts

The 2011 Cricket World Cup will be remembered for a variety of reasons. It was the first time two Asian countries had squared off in the Cricket World Cup final, and it was also the first time the host nation had triumphed.

India’s triumph was evidence of the team’s perseverance and commitment throughout the competition. They had displayed brilliant cricket, and they had successfully defeated a formidable Sri Lankan team in the championship match.

However, the victory wasn’t just about cricket. The indigenous people of India had won. It was a win for a country that had overcome many obstacles to rise to the status of a superpower. It was a win for inspiration and hope.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *