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Pakistan media all praise for Akmal

KARACHI, MARCH 13. Pakistan media on Sunday showered praise on diminutive wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal whose magnificent and fighting maiden century helped his team draw the first cricket Test against India at Mohali.

The newspapers published four-column photographs of Kamran Akmal in different poses with The News, in a front-page cartoon, showing the birth of the wicketkeeper as a new Pakistan hero. The newspaper, while hailing Kamran, also did justice to the contribution of Abdul Razzaq.

The sport pages were also dominated by catchy headlines. ``Kamran and Razzaq heroics earn honourable draw for Pakistan,'' said the Dawn newspaper while The News headline screamed: ``Brilliant Akmal, resolute Razzaq earn handsome draw for Pakistan.''

Country's mass circulation `Jang' newspaper sum up the mood of the entire nation with its headline ``Mountain Kamran stand between Pakistan's defeat and India's win,'' while Nawa-e-Waqt, the second largest circulated Urdu newspaper, said: ``Kamran and Razzaq snatch victory from India.''

The Dawn, in its match report said: ``It was a script not even the best of writers could have thought of. Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal and Abdul Razzaq starred in what was a great escape in the first cricket Test against India.''

The News said Kamran's innings signalled the end of illustrious careers of former captains Moin Khan and Rashid Latif and added that Razzaq had vindicated his captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and coach Bob Woolmer's decision to persist with him in Test matches.

``Kamran Akmal and Abdul Razzaq produced one of the most memorable fightbacks in Pakistan cricket history to shatter the Indian dreams of going one-up,'' senior correspondent Waheed Khan wrote in The News.

Kamran not only signalled the end of the careers of Moin and Rashid but also ended the team management's reported planning of playing Shoaib Malik as wicketkeeper batsman to strengthen the fragile batting line-up.

It may be worth mentioning here that Akmal is the only Pakistan wicketkeeper to have centuries in both the forms of cricket.

``It will be difficult to forget the last day's play for many years because Kamran and Razzaq did the impossible. They snatched victory from India,'' the Jang newspaper said, adding that the team had now shown that if it can draw the match from such a precarious situation, it can even beat India. — PTI

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