A festive atmosphere
From Mohali to Mumbai, frenzied celebrations erupted across the country on Wednesday night as Team India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan to enter the World Cup final, with people bursting firecrackers, distributing sweets and dancing in the streets waving the tricolour.
As soon as Misbah-ul-Haq's shot landed in the safe hands of Virat Kohli at long-on to signal the end of Pakistan innings, ecstatic fans, who had been glued to TV sets since afternoon, spilled into the roads, greeting each other, honking cars and dancing to the beats of drums, choking key street intersections and main thoroughfares.
A festive atmosphere prevailed in Mumbai, which will host the final clash with Sri Lanka on Saturday, as also other parts of the country. Cricket fans piled on jeeps and other vehicles, waving the national flag and shouted slogans cheering India and favourite players.
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Image: Fans celebrate in Hyderabad after India won the their World Cup semi-final against Pakistan
Diwali once again in Ranchi
It was Diwali in Ranchi, the hometown of Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, as hundreds of fans assembled in front of his house, set off firecrackers and distributed streets.
In Delhi, people turned up in large numbers at the iconic India Gate for impromptu celebrations, causing massive traffic jam.
Euphoric scenes were also seen at Behala locality in south Kolkata, where former India skipper Sourav Ganguly resides. Those watching the match on the streets on giant screens, hugged each other and danced to the tune of 'Chakde! India' and other Bollywood hit numbers.
Image: Fans in Ahmedabad celebrate India's victory over Pakistan
The entire stadium in Mohali broke into a thunderous applause
At the start of the match in the afternoon, the streets wore a deserted look, for a change on a working day.
The roads in Chandigarh and other cities were crowded with people driving cars and riding motorcycles celebrating the win.
The night sky was lit up with fireworks as Pakistan lost their ninth wicket in Umar Gul who was held leg before by pacer Ashish Nehra. The entire stadium in Mohali broke into a thunderous applause, with Congress President Sonia and her son Rahul cheering the team, as the last Pakistani wicket fell.
Congratulatory messages poured in from chief ministers of various states for the victorious team.
Image: Fans celebrate after India won their semi-final match against Pakistan
People in villages watched the match on portable TV
Nothing could stop the fans, even in villages where there was no electricity, from watching the high-adrenalin clash. Ten villages comprising the primitive Paharia tribal community in Jharkhand's Pakur district's Litipara watched the match on a portable TV with the help of car batteries.
"Electricity has not yet reached to our villages situated at the top of hills. We arranged a portable TV run by batteries to help the villagers share the thrill along with other citizens of the country," Pakur Zila Parishad member Shiv Charan Malto said.
Image: Fans hold an Indian flag in front of an electronic scoreboard
Photographs: Getty Images
Massive celebrations in Hyderabad, Dehradun
Holding aloft the national flag, the fans came out on streets not only in Hyderabad but other major cities like Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh.
Attendance in offices was thin and some offices announced a half-day for their staff to enable them to watch the match.
In Dehradun, hundreds of people gathered at Ghantaghar to celebrate the victory. "I have not seen such celebrations in my entire life," said Vinod Pundir, who had turned up along with his two children .
Several hotels, restaurants and clubs made special arrangements for people to watch the crucial encounter. Police personnel were deployed at many sensitive places for the match, especially near the residences of the players.
In Jaipur, the deserted markets soon turned into a site for boisterous celebrations which continued late into the night.
Image: Fans celebrate on roads after India won their semi-final match against Pakistan
Lucknow crowd go berserk
Meanwhile in Lucknow, minutes after the win at Mohali signalled India's entry to the World Cup final , thousands of people -- young and old including men, women and children poured out on the main thoroughfares of this capital city of India's most populous state.
Back in the old city areas of Chowk too , members of different communities - Hindus and Muslims - thronged the lanes and bylanes to exchange greetings , while youngsters assembled at parks and other thouroghfares to express their joy through fireworks . Many were heard saying, "for us the World Cup is over.."
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Image: Fans react as they watch the ICC World Cup semi-final match between India and Pakistan on a screen in Mumbai