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MS Dhoni's 2011 World Cup final innings one of the best innings I had seen under pressure, asserts Simon Taufell

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MS Dhoni's 2011 World Cup final innings one of the best innings I had seen under pressure, asserts Simon Taufell

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SportsCafe Desk

04/01/2020

Simon Taufell has rewinded the clock back to the 2011 WC final and stated that MS Dhoni's 91-run innings was one of the best under pressure he had ever seen. The umpire has also added the fireworks after the game had him ducking for cover along with the players, who were diving for souvenir stumps.

Simon Taufell could never stand for a final until the 2011 World Cup because Australia played all the finals during his umpiring career and the ICC rules didn't allow the umpires from the playing team nation to stand for a game in a final. But as India and Sri Lanka played out an All-Asian final, Taufell had his time under the sun and boy did he officiate an amazing game of cricket. MS Dhoni's innings remained a game-changer for eternity and Taufell rewound the clock back.

"Dhoni came in and played one of the best innings I had seen under pressure – he was unlucky not to score a century, but he got his side home with a huge six to win the game and the CWC – I have never seen such pure emotion and happiness after the match from the players and fans. The fireworks had me ducking for cover as well as the players, who were diving for souvenir stumps," Taufell told Sportstar.

"It was a relief to enter the safety of the umpires’ room and sit and collect my thoughts. The match officials were part of the post-match ceremony and it was a nice gesture by the crowd to give us a cheer as we went up to collect our medals. What a day, what a game and everyone seemed to be in a really good mood except the Sri Lankans and their fans."

Taufell also stood for the semi-final between India and Pakistan in Mohali - a game that saw fortunes fluctuate until the very end. Sachin Tendulkar played a fine innings despite having four lives in the process. Taufell stated that the match was seen by most as being the real CWC final and politicians were using it as an opportunity to “smoke the peace pipe” and build relations again after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. 

"This match was seen by most as being the real CWC final – arch-rival nations up against each other. However, the politicians were using it as an opportunity to “smoke the peace pipe” and build relations again after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. Both the Prime Ministers were in attendance and we got to shake hands in a pre-match meet-and-greet. There were also all kinds of entertainers and high-profile business people in attendance, with over 50 private aircraft landing before the match. It was a game of cricket that was watched by more people than any other in history," Taufell stated.

"As far as the game was concerned, Pakistan appeared to be a little defensive in their chase and lost a wicket every time they seemed to get some momentum. With every wicket taken, the Indian crowd became more vocal and no one was leaving early. All five India bowlers took two wickets and celebrated hard. With 30 required off the last over and only one wicket in hand, the celebrations started and did not stop for several hours. From my perspective, it was just a great feeling to get off the field with no major incidents or issues especially given the security concerns surrounding the match," the Aussie added.

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