Pakistan Daily Hopes Cricket will Improve India Ties

Islamabad, Dec 27 (IANS): It was heartening to see that the T20 match between India and Pakistan at Bangalore was incident despite repeated threats from parties like the Shiv Sena, a Pakistani daily said Thursday, hoping that such matches would lead to "better relations between the neighbours".

Pakistan Tuesday secured a thrilling five-wicket win in its series-opening T20 International against India.

"The victory has given the Pakistanis a great start to their five-match limited-overs series - their first bilateral encounter against India in five years," said an editorial in the News International.

"The visitors played like a well-oiled unit and, despite a few hiccups, raced past the finish line. Shoaib Malik's match-winning six must have reminded fans of the historic sixer smashed by (Javed) Miandad that sealed a famous Pakistani win against India back in 1986," said the daily.

The editorial said that it was "heartening to see that, in spite of repeated threats from parties like the Shiv Sena, the Bangalore match remained incident-free".

"Millions of cricket fans around the globe were treated to a typically fascinating Pakistan-India encounter that see-sawed before a solid fourth-wicket partnership between Hafeez and Malik helped the tourists draw first blood in the series."

It pointed out that India, Pakistan clashes often produce heroes within a span of a few overs, which almost happened in Bangalore when Bhuvneshwar Kumar ripped through the Pakistani top-order.

"The 22-year-old debutant may have finished on the losing side but the Indian youngster has become a household name on both sides of the border," the editorial said. "Tuesday's enthralling encounter has once again proved that, while such games may be few and far between, each time the two sides meet on the cricket field there is sheer magic."

"It is hoped both teams get a chance to play each other more often - not just for but also for better relations between the neighbours," it added wistfully.


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Title: Pakistan Daily Hopes Cricket will Improve India Ties

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