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Home > Cricket > India vs Pakistan – The final before the final

India vs Pakistan – The final before the final

In yesterdays quarter-final, India ended Australia’s 12-year reign as world champions with a five-wicket win in Ahmedabad. Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Gambhir and Sachin chipped in with nice contributions and it was a team-effort. In the other quarter-final, Pakistan vanquished the Windies.

Now, the stage is all set for what is being termed as ‘the final before the final’ as Team India sets up a clash with perennial rivals Pakistan in the semi-final of the ongoing ICC World Cup 2011. India, and their neighbours, Pakistan, battle against each other on March 30 in Mohali.

Tickets for the near-28,000 capacity stadium were sold out in a record day-and-a-half, with PCA officials claiming that 16,500 tickets were sold and the remainder were sold to ICC, who in turn would be issuing tickets to its guests and officials.

India and Pakistan have played each other four times in past world cups and each time India has emerged victorious against their fiercest rivals. Proceedings in the matches themselves have been nothing short of hugely entertaining and even now images of the clash in 1996 when Pakistani opener Aamir Sohail carted two successive boundaries off Venkatesh Prasad, showing him the bat and then Prasad clean bowling him off the very next delivery still come to mind.

‘India v Pakistan in semi-finals – it doesn’t get better. A World Cup hosted by the sub-continental nations and India and Pakistan making it to the semis,’ said India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

‘There will be more pressure on the Indian side and it will be from outside. People will say ‘win the semis, we don’t care about the final’.

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis said it will be ‘awesome’ to take on India for a place in the final at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on April 2.

‘There is no bigger rivalry in the game than that. We have not played each other in our own country in recent years,’ he said.

Source: Times of India & AFP

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