Islamabad: The World Cup belongs to India but the victory belongs to skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who "epitomised composure under duress", said a leading Pakistani daily, adding that the win was "Asia`s World Cup as much as it was India`s".
India defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets to lift the World Cup after 28 years in Mumbai Saturday.
An article in the Dawn Sunday said: "Dhoni guided his country to a second World Cup victory as India`s players celebrated with cheers, tears, and a lap of honour of Mumbai`s Wankhede Stadium with Sachin Tendulkar held aloft like a trophy."
"India`s maestro (Tendulkar) had earlier failed to perform to Bollywood script with a hundredth hundred in the World Cup Final on his home ground, but a cathartic run chase showed the determination of his team to win it for him. Incidentally, a billion other Indians were quite pleased too."
It stated that "India created history by becoming the first country to win a World Cup on home turf, overcoming the immense expectations of their cricketing public. Dhoni was the man who mastered the pressure of the situation by striding out to bat ahead of Yuvraj Singh when the match was in the balance".
Noting that Sri Lankan cricketer Mahela Jayawaradene "had stroked a masterful hundred, but it was to no avail", the article said: "Sri Lanka`s bowlers, in the curious absence of Ajantha Mendis, did not have enough wicket takers to properly threaten India".
It went on to say that Muttiah Muralitharan was not the only goodbye at this World Cup.
"Pakistan`s own limping superstar, Shoaib Akhtar, also hobbles into the sunset. When he first came tearing in at the West Indies in the 1999 tournament, hair flying, arms and legs pumping, Pakistan`s next World Cup win did not seem a distant dream. Now it is almost twenty years since Pakistan tasted World Cup glory."
The article said that Shahid Afridi`s team did make it the best competition of this millennium.
"By defeating Australia they brought that country`s impressive unbeaten run since 1999 to an end, allowing India to deliver the knockout blow to the undefeated champions."
The article wrapped up, saying: "This was Asia`s World Cup as much as it was India`s. The three top Asian teams reached the semi-finals, and any one of them was capable of winning it. The crowds in all three host nations were enthusiastic and lit up the tournament."
"...After the Asian embarrassment of 2007, this World Cup brought out the best in the region, even an outbreak of unexpected bonhomie and cricket diplomacy at Mohali."
"Ultimately, India`s batting superiority in home conditions proved decisive. But more impressive was their ability to win the battle of nerves in Mohali and Mumbai. And it was their captain, MS Dhoni, who epitomised that composure under duress.
"The World Cup belongs to India but the victory belongs to Dhoni."