Toronto, April 3

Indians across Canada erupted in joy as Team India skipper M.S. Dhoni hit the winning six to lift the cricket World Cup. Many danced on the roads holding aloft the Indian tricolour.

Indians, Sri Lankans and even Pakistanis had started making a beeline for restaurants and banquet halls from Vancouver to Toronto to watch the India-Sri Lanka World Cup final in Mumbai Saturday on special big screens.

India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in the final. The cup came to India after 28 years.

"We have a crazy scene out here now as Indian supporters are going wild with celebrations. A hush fell over the beer-guzzling Sri Lankan supporters when Dhoni hit the winning run. But now they are congratulating Indian supporters over their team's victory," Kesav Sharma, manager of House of Dosas in Vancouver, told IANS.

He said Indian supporters are also streaming out on to the road holding the Indian flag aloft.

"They are dancing to the beat of drums, and the party will go on throughout the day. We are offering everyone a free beer," said the manager of the favourite Indian food joint in Vancouver.

In Toronto, the famous Pearl Banquet Hall was bursting at the seams as hundreds of Indians, Sri Lankans and Pakistans jam-packed into its premises since 4 a.m. to catch the final match.

"The crowd erupted with joy when the winning run was hit. We had people streaming in from late night to start watching the proceedings from 4.30 a.m.," said Pearl Banquet Hall owner-manager Pavittar Singh.

After watching the match, Toronto-based former Sri Lankan wicket keeper and current Canada's coach Pubudu Bathiya Dassanayake said he was very disappointed by Sri Lankan bowlers' performance.

"The 270-plus score was a not bad score. But because of the dew factor, Murli and Randiv could not hold the ball. Also, Murli was bowling with injury. That's how Sri Lanka lost. Zahir set the tone for India and later their batsmen responded very well," said the former Sri Lankan test player.

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