Fury in Pakistan after sixth World Cup defeat to India

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Fans slammed Pakistan after a 76-run defeat to arch-rivals India in their opening World Cup match in Adelaide on Sunday, claiming their beloved team can't bat, bowl or field.

Millions of Pakistanis across the country watched the match at home and in restaurants which had installed giant TV screens, but the defeat - the sixth in six World Cup meetings - frustrated them.

"I had huge excitement to watch this match which Pakistan has lost," said Farhat Irshad, 22 who came to watch the match in a restaurant in the capital Islamabad where up to 200 fans had gathered.

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Irshad said she had a bet with her friends on a Pakistan win which she lost.

"Now I will have to arrange a party for them (her friends). I am really saddened but, whatever happens, we love our cricket team."

The defending champions made 300 for seven from their 50 overs after electing to bat.

In reply, Pakistan were bowled out for 224 with skipper Misbah-ul-Haq top scoring with 76.

"We had a lot of expectations that Pakistan might change history as we have always lost to India in World Cups but they did not make it possible," added Irshad.

Another Islamabad native, Tahir Qureshi, 32, blamed everything for defeat: "Poor bowling, poor fielding and poor batting".

"They had no planning. They came to the ground with no planning on the batting order," Qureshi told AFP.

"Promoting Younis Khan as an opener was foolish - you saw the result (Younis made six)," Qureshi said.

"The middle order batting completely failed."

Owais Ahmad, 20, an enthusiastic fan in Islamabad said he had been optimistic about Pakistan ending their World Cup drought against India.

"But see what has happened," he told AFP.

Euphoria

Jubilant fans spilled out onto India's streets and let off firecrackers after the national team defeated bitter rivals Pakistan in their opening World Cup match in Adelaide on Sunday.

In restaurants and homes nationwide, millions watched Virat Kohli score a majestic 107 before his side cruised to an emphatic 76-run win at the jam-packed Adelaide Oval.

Scores of euphoric university students gathered in the heart of the capital New Delhi as soon as the last Pakistan wicket fell, dancing and waving the saffron and green Indian flag.

"I love you, Virat Kohli, it's the best gift that you could give India," said Shreya Sharma, 21, planting a kiss on a blow-up poster of the Indian vice-captain. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had called his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to wish him luck before the match, took to Twitter to congratulate the team.

"Congrats Team India. Well played. We are all very proud of you," he tweeted.

For legions of supporters in both India and Pakistan, a win over the old enemy is almost as important as winning the tournament.

"The pressure is now off India, now they can relax for the rest of the tournament," S. Shriram, a software professional, told AFP.

"For me, India has won the World Cup today!"


 

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