With celebratory gunfire and sweets, cricket-obsessed Pakistanis savour victory over India
By Jibran Ahmad and Gul Yousafzai
PESHAWAR/QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Cricket-obsessed Pakistanis flooded onto the streets draped in their national green and white flag in celebration on Sunday after their national team trounced arch-foe India in the Champions Trophy final.
Fireworks and jubilatory volleys of gunfire echoed around major cities as traffic ground to a halt, and young men danced to the beat of drums following their team's 180-run victory in the match at The Oval in London.
The stunning turnaround in form of Pakistan, which was thrashed by India in their opening game of the tournament and largely written off, has gripped the nation of 190 million people.
"I was not expecting that Pakistan will win the match, it was an unbelievable turnaround," said stock broker Haris Ali, 55, in the coastal metropolis of Karachi.
TV footage showed some fans watching in Pakistan shedding tears of joy after India's batting order collapsed.
"I'm so excited Allah has answered our prayers," said Nek Amal Khan, 42, a street vendor who was amongst thousands to throng the streets of the northwestern city of Peshawar.
Pakistan itself has hosted only a handful of international cricket matches over the past decade due to security fears.
In the western city of Quetta, thousands chanted "Pakistan Zindabad", meaning "long live Pakistan", while vendors distributed sweets. "I'm so happy," said Babar Khan, selling mangoes out of a pushcart. Continued...