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Pak media mourns historic defeat

Pakistan media on Saturday mourned their team's heavy defeat at the hands of archrival India in the third and decisive cricket Test.
PTI | By Rizwan Ali (AP), Rawalpindi
PUBLISHED ON APR 17, 2004 11:19 AM IST

Pakistan media Saturday mourned their team's heavy defeat at the hands of archrival India in the third and decisive cricket Test.

India crushed Pakistan by an innings and 131 runs Friday to record its maiden Test series victory on Pakistan soil. "No one had thought our cricket would die as it did on the fourth day of the final Test," leading English language newspaper Dawn said in its match report.

"It was a sad day as the last rites of Pakistan cricket was performed at Pindi Cricket Stadium," the paper said. "Indian spinner Anil Kumble and paceman Laxmipathy Balaji nailed the coffin in front of handful mourners."

Kumble took four wickets for 47 runs to finish the three-Test series as top bowler with 15 wickets. Balaji routed the top order (3-108) as Pakistan was bowled out for 245 in the second innings.

India amassed 600 runs - thanks to Rahul Dravid's man of the match winning knock of 270 - after Pakistan was dismissed for 224 in the first outing.

"Pakistan's batsmen were determined to do it their way. Which was to compete against one another on who was the more irresponsible," renowned columnist Omar Kureishi wrote under the headline "Pakistan cricket's blackest day."

"Pakistan just threw in the towel. It is for the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) to find out what went wrong, for something went horribly wrong."

Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar ruptured his back muscle and didn't bowl or field on the third day. However, much to the surprise of his own captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Akhtar hit some hefty blows when he came out to bat and hammered four boundaries and two sixes in his 28-run knock on the fourth day - there were little sign of pain on his face.

"Either he (Akhtar) had made a visit to Lourdes for a miracle cure or he had bathed in some sacred waters, for he showed no signs of injury," Kureishi wrote.

The Indian team had a memorable five-week tour of Pakistan, its first in more than 14 years. India not only defeated Pakistan in the three-Test series, it also recorded a 3-2 win in the limited-overs series - it's first ever limited-overs series win over Pakistan.

"The Indians played brilliant cricket and deserved to win. They showed commitment and reaped their reward," wrote Kureishi. The Nation newspaper also criticized the Pakistan team for not putting up a fight in the decisive third Test.

"It might hurt the pride of the Pakistanis, but the fact is that this Indian team has shown them the way they once used to play cricket," senior writer Agha Akbar wrote under the headline "Pakistan was overawed and outplayed."

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