As the cricket teams of these nations come together for their titanic semi-final World Cup clash, Channel 4 News presents a view from Peshawar on what's being called "the final before the final".

Please wait while this video loads. If it doesn't load after a few seconds you may need to have Adobe Flash installed.

Pakistan's Hafeez plays shot during their ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 semi-final match against India in Mohali

In Pakistan the atmosphere is quite electric as the roads and streets are literally deserted and people are watching the second semi-final cricket match being played between Pakistan and India at Mohali Cricket Stadium in the Indian state of Punjab.

It seems the entire country is in a state of emergency as the nation is restlessly watching the match called the "final before the final."

"No matter if we lose to Sri Lanka in the final, but our team should defeat India," a bearded Zor Tolab Khan, a driver by profession, opined.

The government has announced a half-day holiday for Wednesday to enable cricket lovers to watch the match, but there was no official work in offices due to the absence of staff as people were anxiously waiting for the match to begin on their television screens.

Besides giving a half-day holiday, the government has also exempted the whole country from power load-shedding for the whole day. Usually people have to face an 8-12 power outage across the country.

It seems the entire country is in a state of emergency as the nation is restlessly watching the match called the "final before the final."

The Pakistani people have attached high hopes to their team against arch rival India Almost all business and commercial activities have remained at standstill in Peshawar and in the other major cities of Pakistan. Besides those at home, there are millions of Pakistani watching the game around world.

Please wait while this video loads. If it doesn't load after a few seconds you may need to have Adobe Flash installed.

Many people said they were anxiously waiting for their team to play against Indian and defeat them on Indian soil.

"Since India banned Pakistani team on their soil and refused to play against them, it's a good opportunity after years to see both the teams in the ground," a Peshawar resident, Hameedullah Khan said.

Special prayers have been offered for success for the Pakistani team while some cricket fans sacrificed sheep and goats, others distributed sweets pre-empting any possible victory by the national team.

Other fans have announced monetary rewards for the Pakistani cricket team if they returned home victorious.

"I will give two million rupees reward to the Pakistani team if they defeat our enemy country at their home ground in the semi-final," said Mohammad Shah Afridi, former tribal law-maker and businessman.

Fans continued celebrating every wicket fall of Indian players with heavy gunfire in the air

In the beginning when India won the toss and decided to bat first, the Indian opening batsmen started well, scoring with remarkable boundaries.

As the Indian batsman started notching up runs, million of Pakistanis watching the game at home were losing hopes with the match.

Later when Sehwag was sent to the pavilion, it restored people's hopes and Peshawar and its surrounding tribal regions echoed with heavy gunfire.

The emotional cricket fans thus continued celebrating every wicket fall of Indian players with heavy gunfire in the air.

"It seems it's a war between the two rival neighbouring countries as people who had previously no interest in this game are now great cricket fans. Even women and children are watching the game and are very nervous about their team," a retired army soldier, Nameer Gul explained.

The majority of people are watching the game on their TV screens but special arrangements have been made for people to watch this interesting match on big screens set up at different locations.

The crowd starts shouting with every good delivery from a Pakistani bowler, and when there is a fall of a wicket the noise is even louder.

No doubt this semi-final match is like the final before the final, but the media coverage has made it so important that people from all walks of life are deeply involved in this game.

Recommended Reading