WC 2003 - Scenes of jubilation and joy embrace streets of India

Published: Sunday, March 2, 2003, 5:35 [IST]
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Fans in India celebrate the emphatic victory over Pakistan holding a poster of Sachin TendulkarMumbai: Cricket fans celebrated the country's 6-wicket victory over archrivals Pakistan in the World Cup by bursting crackers on Saturday night in the metropolis and cities across Maharashtra.No sooner Dravid hit a boundary to cross Pakistan's target of 273 runs, cheerful fans in the metropolis burst crackers and greeted each other as India notched up 276 for four.India and Pakistan played each other after almost three years.During the entire match, people were virtually off the streets and glued to their television sets. In Nasik and Pune, hundreds of people came on the roads and burst firecrackers while youths, including girls, danced away carrying photographs of Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh and Rahul Dravid.All the shopkeepers in main markets kept their shops closed and streets wore a deserted look as everybody was watching the Battle Royale between the two countries. In the countrys capital, New Delhi, in a re-enactment of Diwali, the capital's skyline lit up with fireworks as India scored a spectacular victory over archrival Pakistan. People came out in hordes and were seen dancing to drum beats as Yuvraj Singh capped the six-wicket victory with a boundary. Children, youngsters and women joined in lighting sparklers and bursting firecrackers.Restaurant and dhaba owners who had installed television sets for the benefit of cricket loving gourmets served free sweets as the entire nation went into an ecstasy following the victory over archrival Pakistan.Cellular phones were heard ringing across the metropolis as fans greeted each other through SMS and phone. Special numbers were played even in discotheques to celebrate the emphatic victory. "We have defeated them (Pakistan) in the battle field and in the cricket field," said a beaming Vishal as he sped past in his bike singing "Saare Jahaan Se Acchha, Hindostan Hamara.The city of Ahmedabad was rocked by deafening sounds of crackers as India convincingly beat Pakistan to maintain its winning streak. The city, which wore a deserted look throughout the day, with cricket lovers cuddled into homes, suddenly came alive as people thronged the posh C G road and other areas to celebrate the sensational victory of Indians, more so against Pakistan.Even as apprehensions of disturbances in sensitive areas were put to rest with police maintaining a tight bandobast, it was an uncontrollable outburst of joy that spread across Ahmedabad, within minutes of vice-captain Rahul Dravid hitting the winning boundary. Defeating Pakistan has paved the way for bringing the World Cup home, said a jubilant fan, as his group thronged the C G Road cheering the nation. Celebrations in the walled city were with equal jubilation as people danced with joy.Nothing could have come more handy than a public holiday on occasion of Mahashivratri, giving cricket fans to watch master blaster Sachin Tendulkar and his opening partner Virendra Sehwag pulverise tearaway speedster Shoaib Akhtar, Wasim Akram and Pakistan skipper Waqar Younis. The City of Joy was swamped by instantaneous celebration immediately afterIndia propelled by the brilliant batting of Sachin Tendulkar scored an emphaticvictory over traditional rivals Pakistan.The moment Yuvraj Singh struck the winning runs at Centurion in SouthAfrica, it catapult the people into a mood swing that saw many of themrunning out of their homes with the National Tri-Colours in hand, shouting"India and Tendulkar zindabad" slogans.The tension of the clash between the two traditional rivals could be felt in theair, the streets wore a deserted look in the afternoon when the match gotstarted. There were fewer buses and many private offices did not function.However, the Indian victory resuscitated life back into the City of Joy at nightwith members of the teeming crowds seen hugging and congratulating eachother who also daubed the skyline with an impressive range of fireworks. At many places bonfires were lit at the centre of the streets around whichcricket aficionados danced with gay abandon. Tendulkar was the toast of the crowd in Saurav Ganguly's city as cricket fanscarried the Little Master's garlanded portrait. The Kolkatans, who felt let down by the performance of their "Maharaj" whowas out to the first ball he faced, was roundly flayed by his fans. "Ganguly should be immediately dropped from the team", one cricket fanshouted while others joined in the chorus "Saurav hai hai". PTI

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