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Sachin Tendulkar
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Cricket World Cup moments: Sachin Tendulkar and India triumph on home soil

We take a look back at the 2011 Cricket World Cup final, which saw co-hosts India delight their millions and millions of fans by defeating Sri Lanka by six wickets in Mumbai.

Fairytale endings are never guaranteed in cricket, even the sport's greatest batter, Australia's Don Bradman, was dismissed for a duck in his final Test innings, leaving him with an average of 99.94.

But the 2011 Cricket World Cup delivered the result that a billion Indian cricket fans, and many others around the world, had been hoping for as the legendary Sachin Tendulkar helped India lift the trophy at the Wankhede Stadium in his home city of Mumbai.

India had been huge underdogs when they won their only previous World Cup in 1983, beating the mighty West Indies in the final at Lord's.

By 2011, however, they were one of the powerhouses of world cricket and their rise had coincided with Tendulkar's illustrious international career.

The batting wunderkind made his Test debut against Pakistan in November 1989 at the age of just 16 and scored his first century against England at Old Trafford a year later.

Tendulkar proceeded to rewrite the Test and ODI record books over the next 20 years, but a World Cup triumph eluded him.

The 2011 tournament began just a couple of months before his 38th birthday so the Little Master, and his legions of admirers, knew it could be his last chance of landing the trophy.

Record-breaking double-century enhances legend

Sachin Tendulkar's ODI career had started with ducks in his first two games against Pakistan and New Zealand and it took him until his 79th appearance to score his first century in the format.

The floodgates then opened - Tendulkar would finish his career with a record 49 ODI tons - and there was no sentiment involved in his selection for India's 2011 World Cup squad.

His one-day heroics in 2009 included 163 not out against New Zealand in Christchurch and 175 against Australia in Hyderabad.

In February 2010, at the age of 36, he became the first man to score an ODI double-century, stroking an unbeaten 200 off 147 balls against South Africa in Gwalior, so expectations were soaring as the 2011 World Cup, co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, approached.

Runs galore in Bangalore

Tendulkar's World Cup campaign got off to an underwhelming start as a mix-up with opening partner Virender Sehwag saw him run out for 28 in the Group B opener against Bangladesh.

Sehwag made amends with a brutal 175 off 140 balls to steer India to victory and, to the delight of the home fans, Tendulkar turned on the style in his second outing against England in Bangalore.

He tucked into the England bowling, hitting Graeme Swann for three sixes and Paul Collingwood for two, and was eventually dismissed by James Anderson after scoring 120 off 115 balls.

Remarkably, India had to settle for a share of the points despite racking up 338 as opener Andrew Strauss' 158 earned an unlikely tie for England.

In India's next game, Ireland spinner George Dockrell pinned Tendulkar lbw for a laboured 38 off 56 balls, but Yuvraj Singh's 5-31 and unbeaten 50 helped the hosts avoid an upset in Bangalore.

Backers of the India star to be top tournament runscorer were hoping he would fill his boots against the Netherlands, but he holed out for a quickfire 27 in Delhi as India eased to a five-wicket win.

Little Master the man for the big occasion

India's next group game was against a star-studded South Africa side featuring Hashim Amla, Graeme Smith, AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Faf du Plessis and Dale Steyn.

With England suffering a shock defeat to Ireland, the Proteas and India were vying for top spot in the group and Tendulkar's 111 off 101 looked to have put the home side on the path to victory.

However, India collapsed from 267-1 to 296 all out as pace ace Steyn took 5-50 and South Africa reached their victory target with three wickets and two balls to spare.

Yuvraj's century set up a comfortable win over the West Indies in the last group game, when Sachin was caught behind for two, and next up was a heavyweight quarter-final against Australia in Ahmedabad.

Ricky Ponting's 104 kept Australia in the contest but Tendulkar's classy 53 laid the foundation for a successful run-chase finished off by hard-hitting left-handers Yuvraj (57 not out) and Suresh Raina (34 not out).

Semi-final heroics set up grand finale

There are few more intense sporting events than an India-Pakistan cricket match and Tendulkar rose to the occasion when the neighbours met in the World Cup semi-final in Mohali.

Batting first against a dangerous Pakistan bowling attack including fired-up paceman Wahab Riaz, who took five wickets in the innings, and spin trio Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez, the Little Master held together India's innings with 85.

Tendulkar rode his luck, overturning an lbw decision on DRS and surviving four dropped catches and a tight stumping call, but his battling knock proved crucial as none of his teammates reached 40.

India's bowlers held their nerve to complete a 29-run semi-final win over Pakistan, leaving Sri Lanka as the final threat to Tendulkar's trophy dream.

The Lankans, inspired by Mahela Jayawardene's 104 not out, set India 275 for victory in the final and fast bowler Lasith Malinga silenced the Wankhede Stadium by bowling Sehwag with the second ball of the innings.

Worse was to come for home fans when Malinga had Tendulkar caught by wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara for 18 in the seventh over, but Gautam Gambhir (97) and captain MS Dhoni (91 not out) ensured that India emerged triumphant.

The celebrations involved a victory lap of the Wankhede with Tendulkar on the shoulders of his team-mates - one of whom, future India captain Virat Kohli, declared: "He has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years, it was time we carried him."

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