Mumbai: At two wickets down for 31, chasing a target of 275 in a World Cup final, it all seemed to be headed in Sri Lanka's direction. In all ODIs since 2000, a first-innings total of 270 or more had been a winning score 394 times, while only 100 times had it been chased down. Add to that the pressures of the occasion - only twice in nine previous finals had the team batting second won a World Cup final, plus no side had ever lost their first wicket without a run on the board - and there was no doubt about which team held the whip at that stage.
That's when India's middle order stepped up, with a couple of stunning partnerships that completely turned the run-chase around. Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir's 83-run partnership consumed only 15.3 overs and resurrected India's innings, while the Gambhir-MS Dhoni stand more or less sealed the deal, adding an outstanding 109 off 19.4 overs to ensure the highest sucessful run-chase in a World Cup final.
The highlight of both those partnerships was the manner in which the batsmen soaked up the pressure, kept the risks to a minimum, and yet scored their runs at an excellent rate. In the third-wicket stand, Gambhir and Kohli scored only 32 out of 83 runs in fours and yet scored at 5.35 runs per over. Gambhir and Dhoni were even better, scoring 32 out of 109 in fours, yet achieving a run-rate of 5.54.