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'Electric': How India-Pakistan match played out in the stands

'Electric': How India-Pakistan match played out in the stands
Sudhir Chaudhary, termed Indian cricket’s biggest fan, is usually seen at every single home match his team plays. Now, he is present at the 2019 Cricket World Cup, waving the flag and reminiscing the days of iconic cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera

Manchester, United Kingdom – A capacity crowd, a batting masterclass and a sea of blue in the stands withstood overcast conditions, cold breeze and several rain delays as India sealed a convincing win over Pakistan in the 2019 Cricket World Cup match.

Sunday’s showpiece was the seventh time the teams had met in a Cricket World Cup and India’s win helped them maintain their 100 percent record.

A few months ago, there were calls for this match to be cancelled as relations between the nuclear-armed rivals reaching a tipping point.

In February, a suicide attack in India-administered Kashmir killed nearly 40 paramilitary troops with the Pakistan-based group Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) claiming responsibility.

In response, India launched an air raid in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, claiming to have targeted a JeM "training centre". Both sides then deployed fighter jets resulting in an Indian aircraft being shot down and its pilot captured.

The pilot's return by Pakistan a few days later helped subside the tension but there were calls for Pakistan to be thrown out of the Cricket World Cup that were rejected by the sport's governing body.

The match did eventually take place in Manchester, much to the delight of the crowd, a good number of which had travelled from various parts of the world.

The Indian contingent easily outnumbered that of Pakistan. The flags and blowhorns were out every time an Indian batsman hit a boundary or a Pakistani wicket fell. Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera
Members of the ‘Stani Army’ did make a grand appearance outside the stadium ahead of the match, gathering up the Pakistani supporters. Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera
'We’re going to win the World Cup' was what the Pakistani fans chanted during the match. Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera
But it was the Indian flags that were seen and waved by jubilant fans throughout the day. Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera
The Manchester crowd got an extra treat with the presence of Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh. Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera
Former captain Imran Khan had apparently told his Pakistan team players to play like cornered tigers in the 1992 World Cup after a poor start. The team went on to lift the trophy. Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera
Overcast conditions, cold breeze and several rain delays failed to deter the capacity crowd, a good number of which had flown in from all parts of the world to watch the match. Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera
Sahib and Jagdeep flew in from Canada to watch their first India-Pakistan cricket match and they left very impressed by what they saw. Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera
Anjali and Rahul live in the United States but support the Indian cricket team. This couple too came to the UK to watch Kohli’s team perform in the World Cup. Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera
This couple lives in Lagos. Their reason for being in Manchester on Sunday? India-Pakistan World Cup match. Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera
The fans had come prepared for a nerve-wrecking game but did not forget to dress up in cultural attires to ensure the cameras panned to the crowd more often. Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera
'The fielding, the batting was absolutely horrendous.' Pakistan fans rued their team’s performance in such an important match but kept their hopes up of qualifying for the semi-finals. Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera
Despite losing the toss, India, spurred on by the vocal crowd, sealed their seventh win out of seven World Cup games against Pakistan over the years. Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera
'Now to win the World Cup.' Indian fans believe the team has what it takes to reclaim the trophy as India maintained its unbeaten run in the current tournament. Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera
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