WC 2003 - We have made the country proud today, says Ganguly
Published: Sunday, March 2, 2003, 4:32 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Awesome Sachin helps India keep record vs Pak intact
Centurion: Indian captain Saurav Ganguly on Saturday vowed to see his team progress further in the World Cup after a rousing six-wicket win over archrivals Pakistan."This is just the beginning," Ganguly said after the Indians rode on Sachin Tendulkar's 98 off 75 balls to surpass Pakistan's challenging 273 for 7 with 26 balls to spare at the overflowing SuperSport Park."It was absolutely fantastic. It was such a big game for the team and for the people watching here and at home," Ganguly said."I think we have made a lot of people smile. We have made the country proud."Pakistan put up a very good total, but we were confident because we have been batting well recently and on a good wicket any total can be chased."Sachin was simply superb and then came Yuvraj Singh and Rahul Dravid. I don't think I have seen better innings than those three for a long time."India ended the league with 20 points to become the second team in group A behind reigning champion Australia to qualify for the Super Sixes.Pakistan, denied a World Cup win over India for the fourth time in a row, was lagging behind on eight points with a game in hand against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo on Tuesday.Waqar Younis' men must not only win that match but hope England do not upset Australia at Port Elizabeth on Sunday to force a three-way tie with England and Zimbabwe.In that situation, the team with the highest net run-rate will book the third Super Sixes spot from the group."It's not over yet," Pakistani captain Waqar Younis said. "Now we have to see what happens on Sunday and then take it from there."But I have to give credit to India, they played exceptionally well, especially Sachin."India just took the game from us, I thought our total was a good one, but we bowled badly on occasions and once they got the start, they could just take singles to see them home.Tendulkar, who surpassed the 12,000-run mark when on 88, was later named the man-of-the-match for his innings during which he developed severe cramps in the leg."The leg hurt but I should be okay for the rest of the tournament," he said."Playing Pakistan is always an important game and to beat them for the fourth time in the World Cup was really special."I have to congratulate the whole team. Yuvraj has done so well under pressure many times and Dravid was as confident as ever."India still needed 97 more when Tendulkar was removed, but Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh kept their cool to see their team home without any hiccups.Dravid returned unbeaten on 44, having hit the winning boundary off Waqar, and Yuvraj made 50 not out to seal one of India's best One-day performances in recent times.