June 5, 2001

Victory sets nation alight

Pakistan's sensational victory at Old Trafford set the nation alight and cricket-crazy supporters heaped praise on the cricketers. Eyewitnesses said scores of fanatics on motorcycles took to the streets carrying placards of their favourite players. They chanted slogans and hoped that it was not just a one-match wonder.

"We are proud of our players, and particularly for Waqar Younis and Rashid Latif. The way they played at Old Trafford, it was amazing," 29-year-old Saad Khan, a Navy officer, said. Rashid, staging a comeback after almost three years, scored a priceless 71 in the first innings and then contributed 25 in the second but most importantly added 59 runs for the eighth wicket with Wasim Akram in quick time.

Aftab Ahmad, 54, said he has been following Pakistan for the last 30 years. It was such an wonderful performance and one of the best in recent times. The last was in the 1992 World Cup but that was a competition." Nevertheless, Usman Ghani had a word of caution and advice to the players. "Hopefully, it will end the losing streak. But the players need to keep their feet firmly on the ground. The trination series follows and we haven't forgotten the 1999 World Cup loss," he said with reference to defeat in the final to Australia who are one of the three competitors.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials were not available for comments. But this win would certainly provide them some breathing space after a string of disappointing performances by the team.