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Drowned in sound

Pakistan's fans raised the roof at the ground and long into the night

Pakistan fans make merry at The Oval, India v Pakistan, ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match, The Oval, June 3, 2009
This shout goes out to Lahore © Getty Images

"Dil dil Pakistan, jaan jaan Pakistan," sang deliriously happy Pakistan fans in unison every time the DJ played Vital Signs' 1987 track at Trent Bridge. They waved their flags, blew their whistles, beat their inflatable stumps, and created the most vibrant and energetic atmosphere of the tournament.

As I made my way around the boundary's edge to get to the press conferences, I heard a couple of Pakistan fans shout, "Where's India now?" A fellow journalist and I turned to see who it was. They spotted us and yelled, "There they are, there they are." The Indian supporters had given them a hard time at the Oval, and at Lord's, when they cheered Sri Lanka against Pakistan. It was their moment now.

Amid all the bedlam, there was the peaceful yet surreal sight of a Pakistan fan praying his namaz by one of the stadium exits.

Hundreds remained on the Bridgford and Radcliffe roads long after Shahid Afridi had collected his Man-of-the-Match award, blowing trumpets, beating drums, waving flags, shouting themselves hoarse. They got into their cars - some sat on top of cars - and hit their horns, which people never ever do in England, creating a loud and prolonged blare. The din was terrific, the sounds carrying across the Trent river.

The person behind the counter from my doner-kebab takeout joint was wearing a Pakistan jersey. It was impossible not to share his happiness. The talk on the street was largely about one man - Afridi. There wouldn't have been a soul in Nottingham last night who didn't know Pakistan had beaten South Africa and secured a place in the final of the World Twenty20.

And I thought the Indians knew how to celebrate a win. I think I've decided which team to support at Lord's on Sunday.

George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

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