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17.06.2019 Cricket

Government minister hails Indian 'strike' on Pakistan at Cricket World Cup

Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP
JUN 17, 2019 CRICKET

India's home minister Amit Shah on Monday hailed the country's cricket World Cup win over Pakistan as "another strike" -- months after India launched air attacks over Pakistani territory in an escalation of tension between the two rivals.

The political tension between the nuclear-armed neighbours spiked in February over Kashmir, which both Pakistan and India claim and have fought two wars over since the territory was divided in 1947.

A suicide attack -- claimed by a militant group based in Pakistan -- in Indian-administered Kashmir killed 40 Indian troops.

In response, India staged its first air attack on Pakistani territory in decades, with Pakistan responding a day later.

This weekend, in the northern English city of Manchester, passionate fans from both sides of cricket's fiercest rivalry preached sporting peace after India's World Cup thrashing of Pakistan on Sunday in front of a global TV audience estimated at one billion people.

India extended their unbeaten World Cup run against Pakistan to seven matches with an 89-run victory in front of a vociferous, sellout Manchester crowd, largely down to Rohit Sharma's superb 140 off 113 balls.

Pakistan, chasing an initial 337 to win were always behind the run-rate and finished on a rain-interrupted 212 for six, well short of their revised target of 302 in 40 overs.

Despite the volatile political relations between the two countries, the majority of fans in Manchester were determined that the sporting battle remained good natured.