NEW YORK - Pakistans brilliant victory in the Twenty20 World Cup final against Sri Lanka was featured Monday even in the American print and electronic media, which has limited readership for cricket news as the game is not a popular one in the United States. The story was carried in all media, quoting skipper Younis Khan as saying that it was a gift to the Pakistani nation. In a dispatch from London, The New York Times commented, Its victory exorcised two earlier defeats. Ten years ago, also at Lords, Pakistan lost miserably in a World Cup final against Australia. Two years ago, in the first World Twenty20 final, it suffered the peculiar agony of a narrow defeat to its fiercest rival, India. It also had strong echoes of Pakistans greatest previous triumph - in the 1992 World Cup. As in this tournament, Pakistan started poorly in 1992 and played a succession of matches in peril of elimination, inspired by the call of its captain, Imran Khan, to 'fight like a cornered tiger. Pakistans current captain, Younis Khan, no relation, trades in cheerful good humour rather than fiery speeches, but his team responded with tiger like determination. The main worry of its thousands of fans, most of whom call a British city home but brought an invigorating South Asian passion to this most venerably English of sporting sites, was that it might have peaked in its semi final defeat of apparently unstoppable South Africa. Instead, it played even better. Sri Lanka, after winning the toss, chose to bat first - as it had done in most of its previous victories. As the winning run was registered with 8 balls and 8 wickets to spare, (Shahid) Afridi, man of the match for his 54 not out plus four tightly aggressive overs with the ball, stood at the wicket with his arms raised in triumph and was engulfed by his joyous team-mates. This was also a personal triumph for Khan, who announced his retirement from Twenty20 cricket after the match. It was he who advised Afridi to relax and not try to hit every ball for four. Khan also encouraged his bowlers with unorthodox moves like setting the close catcher, heresy in this form of the game, who dismissed Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene.