Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Indians come in for praise from Pak media

Published: Monday, March 29, 2004, 20:17 [IST]
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Islamabad:Dubbed as 'chockers' before they arrived in Pakistan, Indian cricketers came in for praise for holding their nerves by Pakistan commentators who also showered the Pakistan team captain Inzamam-ul-Haq with brickbats for putting India in to bat and at the same time lauding his superb century.

"After the first encounter between the two sides in almost a year, one thing was quite obvious: this Indian side does not panic even when it is pushed to the wall. That perhaps explains its improved success rate and enhanced reputation," Pakistan cricket commentator, Agha Akbar wrote in his column 'Ring side view' in 'The Nation' daily about Saturday's One-day match at Karachi.

He said it was some remarkable bowling by India in the end overs which saw Pakistan lose the wickets.

"Had Pakistan won, it would have been a world record. No team has made as many runs batting second in a One-day International. But that was not to be," he said.

The newspaper bemoaned the failure of wicketkeeper batsman Moin Khan to repeat cricket history by converting the last ball to six but at the same time came down hard on captain Inzamam for opting to bowl on a beauty of a batting wicket.

"India posted 349 for seven after Inzamam had blundered by inviting the opponent to take the first use of a placid wicket after winning the toss," 'The Nation' said in its coverage of the match.

While the newspaper absolved the skipper for the blunder as he made amends with a brilliant 122, Moin Khan failed to repeat Javed Miandad's feat in hitting the last ball for a six in the 1986 thriller in Sharjah.

"Like Miandad who lifted Indian medium pacer, Chetan Sharma in Sharjah to give Pakistan an unbelievable victory, Moin Khan also tried to heave the last ball from Ashish Nehra out of the ground but he only succeeded in ballooning it to Zaheer Khan to herald the victory celebrations in the Indian camp," the paper said.

The newspaper also castigated Pakistan fast bowlers, Shoaib Akthar and Mohammad Sami for their failure to live up to their reputation to make early inroads into the Indian batting.

It also carried on its front page the picutre of jubilant Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi along with Indian Commerce Minister, Arun Jaitley, who witnessed the match, celebrating the Indian victory.

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