Johannesburg:Chasing 158 in the final of the first ever Twenty20 World Cup at Johannesburg, Pakistan was skittled out for 152 with three balls remaining.
Irfan Pathan was named Man of the Match for his outstanding bowling spell of 4-0-16-3, which brought India back into the game. Shahid Afridi was adjudged the Match of the Series.
Joginder Sharma scalped Misbah-ul-Haq for 43 to seal the final over thriller as India beat Pakistan by five runs. Misbah held his cool till the end, only making one mistake, trying to be a bit too cheeky in the end.
The final could not have got bigger, better and more thrilling. The game went right down to the wire and had all the spice and flavour of a potboiler.
The Indian team ran around on the ground waving the flags along with the fans to celebrate the awe-inspiring victory.
Defending a modest 158, RP Singh struck first up to scalp Mohammad Hafeez for one run and give India a kickstart.
He struck in his successive over to uproot Kamran Akmal for a duck even as the Pakistan batsmen scored freely off a wayward Sreesanth.
But with Imran Nazir and Younis Khan at the crease, Pakistan looked in control as the runs kept coming thick and fast. The duo scored briskly and pulled down the required run rate to below eight.
Just when it looked that Pakistan were cruising, a superb throw from Robin Uthappa at mid off brought an end to Nazir's cameo who was run out for 33.
Earlier, Gautam Gambhir, who scored 75 off 54 with the help of eight boundaries and two sixes helped India reach a fighting total.
Pakistan bowlers did a tremendous job to restrict India to 157 for five after electing to bat. Umar Gul, with his match figures of 4-0-28-3 was the best bowlers of the day.
Gul dismissed the big-hitting Yuvraj Singh, skipper Mahendra Dhoni and a well-set Gautam Gambhir as India were restricted to 157-5 after electing to bat.
The match pitted as the 'mother of all contests' lived up to the hype attached to it as the drama unfolded even before a ball was bowled. The fans went beserk when the two teams walked out in the middle.
There were early jitters for India as on the very first delivery a slight confusion between Gautam Gambhir and Yousuf Pathan resulted in a near run out before replays showed he was safe.
Post that, the two openers put India on the fast track as they belted a slower than usual Mohammad Asif all around scoring 13 runs in the first over.
But Asif struck in his successive over to give Pakistan a crucial breakthrough when Pathan miscued a pull shot and Shoaib Malik pouched a simple catch at mid wicket sending him back for 15.
Sohail Tanvir struck soon after to dismiss Robin Uthappa for 8 runs and peg India back. But Gambhir remained composed at the other end and kept the momentum going. He used his feet perfectly to the spinners as India waited to punish the bad balls.
Yuvraj Singh was bottled down by the spinners and took a while before he got his first boundary. He could not get going and was gone for 14 off 19 balls trying to force the scoring off Gul.
The two men capable of giving impetus to the Indian score failed on the big occasion, both falling to Gul in his two successive overs.
In what came as a huge blow, Virender Sehwag could not recover fully from his groin injury and missed the game. He was replaced by Yusuf Pathan.
Pakistan also made one change, bringing in Yasir Arafat in place of Fawad Alam.
India: Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, MS Dhoni, Yousuf Pathan, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Joginder Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Sreesanth, RP Singh.
Pakistan: Imran Nazir, Mohammad Hafeez, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul, Mohammad Asif, Yasir Arafat.