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Indian media salutes Nehra
February 27, 2003 11:38 IST
Left-arm bowler Ashish Nehra's match-winning six for 23 against England on Wednesday has been hailed by the Indian media as one of the great one-day spells.
The lanky Delhi bowler, who almost missed the match due to an ankle injury, bowled India to an 82-run victory over England in their World Cup Group A match to stay on course for a place in the tournament's Super Six stage.
"Nehra began the day sitting in the dressing room, waiting for his fitness test... He ended it with six wickets for 23, the third-best bowling figures in World Cup history," the Indian Express said in an article headlined: "Ashish Wednesday".
Left-armer Zaheer Khan and the experienced Javagal Srinath also contributed in a rare display of top-class pace bowling for India, traditionally known to rely on spin.
"Nehra bowled 10 inspired, lethal overs in one single spell to destroy England almost single-handed and to redefine the face of Indian cricket: roll over batsmen, the pace attack is winning matches," the Indian Express added.
Large pictures of Nehra, who had never taken more than three wickets in a one-day match before Wednesday, were splashed on all the leading dailies.
"Rarely has one seen an Indian opening attack, spearheaded by Ashish Nehra's chilling, searing spell, bowl with the kind of venom, speed, movement and accuracy as they did under floodlights at Kingsmead," said the Hindustan Times.
In an article headlined "Nehra lives a dream, England a nightmare", the paper added: "The way England played and missed, they might has well have been facing the wrath of a (Dennis) Lillee or a (Jeff) Thomson."
India now have 16 points from five matches, with an encounter against traditional rivals Pakistan on Saturday.
England, with 12 points, will have to beat world champions Australia in their last group match on Sunday to stay in the hunt for a berth in the next stage.