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India romp to historic test win



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RAWALPINDI, Pakistan -- India's cricketers are set to be welcomed home as conquering heroes after they romped to an historic maiden test series win on Pakistani soil.

India won the series 2-1 on Friday in only their first victory against the neighbors since winning at home in 1979-80.

Captain Saurav Ganguly hailed his team's innings victory as one of the best moments in his career.

"It's a very special moment for us," Ganguly told reporters.

"It's a very big win, coming against Pakistan. It'll take a few days to sink in. We've been playing good cricket for the last two years, it's great to win when you're playing well."

The series was seen as a symbol of thawing relations between the South Asian countries, who have fought three wars against each other since winning independence from Britain in 1947.

India, playing their first full series on Pakistani soil in more than 14 years, won the first test at Multan by an innings and 52 runs but Pakistan hit back with a nine-wicket win at Lahore.

Leg-spinner Anil Kumble contributed to Friday's victory, grabbing four quick wickets to bowl Pakistan out for 245 in their second innings.

The victory margin, an innings and 131 runs, was India's biggest since the inaugural test at New Delhi in 1952.

CNN correspondent Ram Ramgopal said the series was closely followed in India where every TV station was covering the cricket. "Indian fans are extremely excited and proud of their team's victory.

"The expectation is that the Indian team will cross the border on foot which is very rare, returning as conquering heroes after winning the closely fought series on hostile territory."

Millions of cricket fans watched the match to its conclusion on TV in homes or offices, raising hoots of joy at the outcome.

Others huddled around transistor radios or checked SMS messages during business hours before cheering on the historic win. (Full story)


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