Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Pak media laments team~~s surrender to India

Published: Monday, March 29, 2004, 20:17 [IST]
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Lahore:"Tame Surrender", "Pakistanis throw away match", "Winning Indian hearts at the expense of their own countrymen" -- screamed the front page headlines of Pakistani newspapers on Thursday morning after the hosts lost the series-deciding One-day cricket match to India in Lahore.

The papers, which had sung poems for the team just a few days ago, were universal in their criticism of a side which gave it up all too easily to suffer "a sort of defeat that no team has had to face on home turf at the hands of their rivals from across the border".

The Urdu press was more severe as it struggled to come to terms with the fact that Pakistan could be beaten by India in their own den. "We gave away the match to be friends with India," was the refrain of the papers.

Earning the ire of the critics was express bowler Shoaib Akhtar. " The 'so-called' great fast bowler was generous in his performance that left a lot to be desired. He sprayed the ball all over except at the target," said 'Daily Khabrain'.

The 'Nawa-e-Waqt' said the manner in which the Pakistan team played had upset and saddened all of Pakistan. "The moment Inzamam was caught (by Sachin Tendulkar on the boundary) people started leaving the stadium."

"The exodus gathered pace when all-rounder Abdul Razzaq was caught by Virender Sehwag off Balaji and people were heard cursing the Pakistani players for their performance," said the daily.

"Cricket fans accepted that while winning and losing was part of the game, they could not come to terms with the way Pakistan capitulated. Had the team lost in a closer match, it would have been that much more easier to bear the disappointment," it said.

'The Daily Mail' said an "irresponsible" show of batsmanship caused an "embarrassing" defeat particularly for thousands of spectators at Gaddafi Stadium and millions on the TV screens.

'The Dawn' said "India finally overcame their 'chokers' tag, courtesy of a Laxman century to overcome Pakistan by 40 runs and clinch the five-match rubber 3-2 - their first series win in six attempts in Pakistan."

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