In Historic Cricket Match, India Defeats Pakistan

Melissa Block features the voices of fans at Wednesday's historic cricket game between India and Pakistan.

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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

An epic showdown on the Asian subcontinent drew to a close today.

(Soundbite of cheering)

Unidentified Man: Miles in the air and it's caught. India won! A place in the World Cup Final is theirs. Let the party begin!

BLOCK: India defeated its bitter rival Pakistan in the Cricket World Cup semifinals. It's an obscure sport here, but the TV audience for today's faceoff was estimated at more than a billion people around the world.

Cricket fans on both sides of the India-Pakistan border waved flags and chanted patriotic slogans, and across South Asia, much of life ground to a halt as people tuned in. In the Pakistani capital, fans were disheartened.

Mr. MARUSA GENAVASHA(ph): My name is Marusa Genevasha, and I don't have words to explain our emotions, actually. It was really like a bullet for us.

Mr. ARSALAN GHAZI(ph): My name is Arsalan Ghazi and, obviously, we do feel down. Like, we love cricket and we really love it a lot, but thumbs up for Pakistan. They have reached semifinals and that's all - that's how it is. One team has to lose and one has to win.

Mr. MUJAB MARU(ph): My name is Mujab Maru. But - today is a bad day for Pakistan. And definitely India will be enjoying that, but this is a very bad day for us.

BLOCK: A very bad day for Pakistan. A few voices there from the streets of Islamabad. On the winning side of the border, in India, drumming and cheering broke out on the streets of New Delhi.

(Soundbite of cheering)

Ms. DORDOBA ANDESAI (ph): I'm Dordoba Andesai. We are celebrating as India has defeated Pakistan in the World Cup as usual. And obviously, we all are very delighted and very happy on this occasion. And it's no more less than a victory.

ROHED(ph): My name is Rohed. And it's like really, really, like it is one of the best occasions, what our Indian team has, like, given us. And that like this is the best thing that could have happened to the Indian cricket.

(Soundbite of cheering)

VANDANA(ph): My name is Vandana. It is an awesome victory tonight. We just loved it. It was a great match.

(Soundbite of cheering)

BLOCK: Cricket fans in New Delhi today. India now faces Sri Lanka for the title on Saturday. It is the first time in history that two Asian nations will face off in the Cricket World Cup Final.

(Soundbite of cheering)

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