India revels in magical semi-final win

MOHALI, March 30, 2011 (AFP) – Thousands of delirious home fans brought the house down at the Mohali stadium on Wednesday after India ended Pakistan’s World Cup dream with a 29-run win in an action-packed semi-final. “We love you India,” screamed a group of college girls over Bollywood music blaring across the packed 30,000-seater Punjab Cricket Association stadium as noisy celebrations erupted throughout the country.

“It feels as if we have won the World Cup,” said 23-year-old Anuradha Biswal, wiping away tears of joy with her handkerchief.

“The match was so close, my heart missed a beat every time the Pakistani batsman hit a four or a six. But our team made us proud tonight.”

Chasing India’s 260-9, Pakistan folded up for 231 all out to hand India a final clash with Sri Lanka in Mumbai on Saturday.

Crowds at the venue broke into “bhangra” dancing, which is wildly popular in the northern Indian region around Mohali, and torn tickets flew like confetti over the heads of cheering supporters.

A handful of Pakistani fans who crossed the border to watch one of the biggest ever sporting clashes between the two nations wore a dejected look but were gracious in defeat.

“India deserved to win,”