India celebrated on Wednesday after beating Pakistan in the World Cup of cricket, a match that brought together two arch-rivals on the field and the leaders of their countries in the stands for some "cricket diplomacy."
Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani arrived in India Wednesday to watch 2011 ICC World Cup second semi-final with his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, as the nuclear neighbors try to repair ties wounded by the 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai.
Politics nearly threatened to take the focus off the high-pitched cricket match, which prompted early closures of thousands of businesses in Mohali, the city hosting the game.
Gilani's visit came a day after his country agreed in principle to allow a tour by an Indian commission in connection with the investigations into the Mumbai assault blamed on Pakistani militant groups. In talks Tuesday in New Delhi, Indian and Pakistani home secretaries also pledged to set up a "hotline" on terror threats.
The Times of India noted that Singh had been "jittery" over the possibility that their meeting in the stands of the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium would receive "more-than-necessary coverage by an intrusive media."
But once the match began, "the broadcasters obliged" by keeping television cameras away from the section hosting the dignitaries," the online publication reported.
"The two leaders had enough time to themselves apart from applauding the odd boundary or the fall of a wicket. It was only at the end of the match after the last Pakistani wicket had fallen that the cameras showed the two leaders seated next to each other," the Times reported.
The South Asian rivals, which have fought three wars since the blood-soaked partition of the Asian subcontinent in 1947, have in the past used cricket as a platform to ease relations.
The win means India will play Sri Lanka in the final match in Mumbai on Saturday.