Mumbai, March 29: The Australians looked favourites at one stage while chasing India's formidable score of 188 in the semifinal of the 2007 T20 World Cup. The dashing left-handed opening batsman, Matthew Hayden, was looking ominous and threatened to run away with the match at one stage.
Placed at 134/3 at 14.3 overs, Australia required just 55 runs in 33 balls---an easy job by today's T20 standards. In came S Sreesanth and he knocked off the dangerous Hayden's off stump by bowling round the wicket and followed up the act with a unique celebration by thumping the pitch with both hands.
The dangerous Andrew Symonds was still there and when Irfan Pathan bowled him in the 17th over with Australia needing 29 runs, Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men felt confident about pocketing the match. They won the match by 15 runs in the end and went on to beat Pakistan in the final by five runs to lift the inaugural T20 World Cup. [India have never lost a T20 World Cup semifinal]
But that match is more remembered for Sreesanth's unique celebrations after dismissing Hayden. The speedstar is contesting the Assembly elections in his state Kerala this year as Dhoni's men take on the West Indies in yet another semifinal of the T20 World Cup at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday (March 31). [West Indies have a 2-1 lead over India in WC T20]
The speedster was the most successful bowler for India in that match with 2 wickets for 12 runs in four overs and his scalps included, besides Hayden, Adam Gilschrist, the other explosive Australian opener who also captained his side in that tournament. The bowler brought India back into the match when he clean bowled Gilchrist after the Australian opening duo put up 36 runs in just five overs. [Virat Kohli's heroics give India splendid victory over Aussies]
We certainly feel Sreesanth, who was banned in 2013 by the BCCI for his alleged role in a spot-fixing controversy in the IPL, will feel nostalgic when Dhoni's men take the field against the Caribbeans.