Celebrations erupt in Mumbai

March 31st, 2011 - 1:43 am ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, March 31 (IANS) Mumbai exploded in fireworks, youngsters trooped into the streets carrying the tri-colour and people danced in joy as India made it to the cricket World Cup final defeating arch-rivals Pakistan Wednesday.

As Virat Kohli took a skier at mid-wicket to see the back of the last Pakistan batsman Misbah-ul-Haq, celebrations broke out in full steam in the western metropolis that had virtually come to a halt as people set aside all work since afternoon to watch the “mother of all cricket matches” in Mohali.

The revellers, who had been in a party mood for quite some time as India seemed on road to victory in the later half of the Pakistan innings, broke loose. Astride speeding motorbikes, they screamed ‘Chak De! India’, wildly waved the national flag and soaked in the glory.

Car horns honked and the night sky was lit by fireworks in the city, which will now host Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his boys in the grand final opposite Sri Lanka Saturday.

“What a game they played! Pakistan was no match,” said Usman, a shopkeeper in Kolaba.

Even the policemen, who have been out on the streets in large numbers as part of a massive security cover in the metropolis ahead of the finals, joined in the revelry. “I was confident they will win,” said a police constable at Apolo Bunder near the Taj.

The pocket transistor made its presence felt in a big way throughout the match, as it was the only way those who had no access to television kept in touch with every ball of the game, which triggered emotions in both the neighbouring countries. While most people chose to spend the second half of the day in the comfort of their home before the television sets, those who stayed outdoor discussed the match proceedings at every street corner, every bus stop and every restaurant.

Giant screens had also been set up at various points of the city, as also in various clubs and restaurants, as the eateries tried to cash in on the cricket fever.

The usually crowded tourist hubs and regular hotspots like the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, the Gateway Of India, the Elephanta Islands, Juhu and Chowpatty beaches, Gorai, Madh Island and others wore a deserted look.

Since the evening, when Pakistan began their reply to the Indian score of 260/9, Mumbaikars were in high spirits as Pakistan lost wickets at regular intervals.

And now, the wait is for another manic Saturday when the hopes and aspirations of a billion plus population would rest on the performance of 11 youngmen at the swanky Wankhede Stadium.

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