India clinched the inaugural Twenty20 cricket World Cup after a thrilling five-run victory over arch-rivals Pakistan in the final in Johannesburg on Monday.

In a match that saw fortunes fluctuate till the dying moments, the young Indian team scored 157 for five and then held its nerve to dismiss Pakistan for 152 with just three balls to spare.

It was India's first major triumph since winning the 60 overs-a-side World Cup in 1983.

It was an incredible display by the Indians who relied on superb team work to not only maintain their all-win record against their bitter foes in World Cup matches but also complete a series of giant-killing acts in the blaze glory.

The stunning victory not only added a glorious chapter to India's cricketing history but also made amends for the team's inglorious exit from the ODI World Cup in the West Indies six months ago.

The large flag-waving gathering of Indians at the Wanderers burst into celebration when S Sreesanth caught the dangerous Misbah-ul Haq off Joginder Sharma to bring an end to Pakistan's challenge.

The contest seemed to go out of India's hands in the 17th over when Misbah clobbered Harbhajan Singh for three sixes, but Mahendra Singh Dhoni's band of young warriors roared back in great style to come out trumps and claim the winners' purse of US $49,000.