New Delhi: India woke up Sunday celebrating a brilliant win by the national team over England, with the media predicting further success at next year's World Cup.
Saurav Ganguly's men fashioned a sensational win in the NatWest One-day final at Lord's on Saturday night, overtaking the hosts' mammoth 325 for five with two wickets and three balls to spare. The second-highest total ever made to win a One-dayer - just behind Australia's 330 against South Africa earlier this year - gave India its first title after nine successive defeats in Limited Overs finals. Millions of fans, who stayed up past dinner time to watch the gripping match on television, burst crackers to celebrate a rare triumph for Ganguly's men. India's cricket chief Jagmohan Dalmiya immediately announced a bonus of 10 million rupees ($ 208,000) for the victorious team and, like the media, predicted happier times ahead. "It is just the beginning and henceforth our victory caravan will continue beyond the World Cup in February," Dalmiya told reporters from his home in Kolkata. "We are on the right track and this combination of experienced players like Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble and the youngsters is going to give the Indian team great results in coming days." The country's media, otherwise staunch critics of the team for its failure to win a Test series outside the subcontinent since 1986, joined in the applause. Photographs of man-of-the-match Kaif and reports detailing the nail-biting finish were splashed across the front pages of the main newspapers. The win received front-page banner headlines in the 'Times of India', titling its piece "India stun England; Hero Kaif scripts historic win, breaks jinx." "It was stuff dreams are made of," the paper said, referring to the match-winning contributions by youngsters Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif in the final. The 'Hindustan Times', under a headline "Young guns rule Lord's", said "The victory will always have a special favour because it was not achieved by the success of the seniors," the paper said, noting that India's master batsman Sachin Tendulkar had "failed again when it mattered the most. What was refreshing was the temperament and the stroke play Kaif and Yuvraj displayed," the report added. "India announced itself as a serious contender for the World Cup to be held in South Africa in February-March next year," the paper gushed. While the 'Asian Age' headlined its article, "India wins Operation Overlord." Former Indian captain Dilip Vengsarkar, writing in the 'Indian Express', described the win as a "miracle which had not been seen for a long time. Full marks to Yuvraj and Kaif for believing in themselves." The conservative 'Hindu' said the "stunning and sensational result can be likened to the passages from 'Ripley's Believe it or not'." The Indians will stay on in England for a series of four Test matches, starting at Lord's on July 25.
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