It was the first time that the two nations met at a World Cup match. India, buoyed by a young and emerging Sachin Tendulkar's fine unbeaten knock of 54 runs, posted 216 and bowled out Pakistan for 173 to register a convincing victory.
This quarter-final match, played at a packed M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, was keenly-contested. While opener Navjot Singh Sidhu scored an authoritative 93 to set India a strong platform, middle-order batsman Ajay Jadeja put the finishing touches to the innings, blasting a 25-ball 45 -- being particularly severe on pacer Waqar Younis -- to enable India post a commanding 287 for eight on the board.
Pakistan's response was aggressive and their openers Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail threatened to take the match away. But a middle-order collapse, triggered by tight slow bowling by spinners Anil Kumble and Venkatpathy Raju, guided India to victory, despite the best efforts of veteran batsmen Javed Miandad and Salim Malik.
India batted first for the third consecutive Cup game and posted a respectable total of 227 for six wickets. Their total was driven by useful knocks from Tendulkar (45), Rahul Dravid (61) and skipper Mohammed Azharuddin (59). Pakistan's batting once again let them down, getting dismissed for 180 in 45.3 overs. They crumbled to the pace duo of Venkatesh Prasad (5/27) and Javagal Srinath (3/37).
Even batting first couldn't reverse the tide for Pakistan despite their posting a strong total of 273. Opener Anwar, always a threat to India, hit a fine century (101) but he was eclipsed by graceful hitting from Tendulkar (98) who, together with fellow opener Virender Sehwag (21), launched a stunning attack on the famed pace trio of Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar and Waqar Younis.
Dravid (44*) and Yuvraj Singh (50*) also played crucial knocks to seal victory with 26 balls to spare.
Tendulkar (85) again rose to the occasion in a crunch semifinal and helped India to a fighting total of 260 for nine. The home team was well placed to post a superior total but was restricted by left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz (5/46).