Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Indian newspapers go ~~ga-ga~~ over series win

Published: Monday, March 29, 2004, 20:17 [IST]
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New Delhi:Indian newspapers headlined the news of the cricket team's One-day series win over longtime rival Pakistan in a clinching game in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

"Lords at Lahore," blared the The Economic Times in a banner headline on Thursday, casting aside its usual financial fare to report India's 3-2 series win, their first title win in Pakistan after five failed attempts between 1978 and 1997.

"We did it," said leading daily Hindustan Times which, like some other newspapers, devoted its full front page to the cricket duel, the first between the two sides in Pakistan in 15 years.

Summing up the mood of the nation, The Statesman said "Feeling Great" over a picture of a joyous Indian team punching the air with their fists in celebration.

Firecrackers lit the skies late on Wednesday in India as fans poured into the streets to rejoice, dancing to drumbeats and flashing 'V' for victory signs.

The nation virtually came to a halt on Wednesday as Indians sat glued to their television sets to watch the nail-biting day-night finale and vehicle and pedestrian traffic thinned in the normally congested streets. Many skipped work to watch the deciding match.

India halted bilateral cricket with Pakistan two years ago amid tensions over Kashmir which has triggered two of three wars between the two sides.

The nuclear-armed neighbours nearly went to war two years ago.

But relations have thawed lately following renewed peace moves and the latest cricket tour has been called a "goodwill series."

"Our team of 11 cricket players won the match as well as the hearts. The entire nation congratulates the team and is pleased with their performance," Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said in a message to the team.

At an election rally Wednesday by Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani ahead of national elections due in April two giant screens were set up for the match to ensure crowds came rather than stayed home.

The Indians will attempt to overturn their record of never winning a Test match in Pakistan when the three-Test series starts in Multan on Sunday.

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