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India Wins Semi-Final World Cup Cricket Match Against Pakistan

India's Harbhajan Singh (2nd L) is congratulated by teammates Yuvraj Singh (L), Virender Sehwag (C), captain and wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina (R) after taking the wicket of Pakistan's captain Shahid Afridi during their ICC Cricket Wo

India has won bragging rights over Pakistan after beating its arch-rival on the cricket field and advancing to the World Cup final match against Sri Lanka set for Saturday.

Life for more than a billion people across India and Pakistan came to a standstill during the semi-final match Wednesday. India beat Pakistan by 29 runs, 260 to 231.

Tickets for the semi-final match had been sold out for days, and most businesses and offices in both countries were closed during the play.

Reuters Images

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart, Yousuf Raza Gilani, showed a rare unified front, as they watched most of the match together from a private box at the stadium in the northern Indian city of Mohali.

The show of friendly competition follows two days of peace talks between the two countries. Indian Home Secretary G.K. Pillai and Pakistan's Interior Secretary Chaudhary Qamar Zaman met in New Delhi this week.

It was the first formal dialogue since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, during which Pakistan-based militants killed 166 people.

In a joint statement Tuesday, Islamabad agreed "in principle" to allow a team from India to investigate the attacks, while New Delhi said a Pakistani delegation would travel to India to probe the attacks. The two sides also agreed to establish a hotline to share real-time information on terrorist threats.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since their 1947 independence from Britain.

So-called "cricket diplomacy" has been used as a platform to ease India-Pakistan tension in the past. In 1987 and 2005, Pakistani leaders traveled to India to watch cricket matches.

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