The Indian and Pakistan cricket boards remain at war over a $70 million legal dispute, but their players have united to produce one of the most powerful images in the game's recent history.

Indian and Pakistan players have won widespread admiration for a series of acts of sportsmanship during their semi-final showdown in the ICC U19 World Cup in Christchurch on Tuesday.

India crushed their rivals by 203 runs, but, together, the two teams built a new foundation for the feuding cricket-mad countries to build a combined future, news.com.au reports.

It has been more than 10 years since India and Pakistan played in a Test series.

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Simmering tensions between the two countries have restricted their rivalry, recently described by cricket commentators as potentially bigger than the Ashes, to just one limited-overs series in the past decade and a handful of meetings at ICC events, including their famous clash at the Adelaide Oval during the 2015 World Cup.

The relationship between the two cricket organisations reached a new low in November when Pakistan launched legal action against their Indian counterparts, suing for $70 million in compensation from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after the country failed to attend two series in 2014 and 2015 as part of a memorandum of understanding signed between the two boards.

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The arch-rivals have not played a full bilateral series since 2007. New Delhi halted all bilateral sports with Pakistan in the wake of 2008 Mumbai attacks, which India blamed on militants based in Pakistan.

Those attacks, which killed more than 160 people, nearly brought nuclear-armed arch-enemies India and Pakistan to the brink of war. The two planned series between India and Pakistan were due to take place at a neutral venue.

The two neighbours have gone to war on four occasions since independence in 1947 and their now infrequent showdowns on the cricket pitch can bring both countries to a standstill.

But, in the middle of cricket's greatest conflict, teenagers from both countries showed there is hope.

A series of images of Pakistan players tying the shoes of Indian batsmen and then congratulating the Indian players on reaching milestones has the potential to become one of the sport's most moving, memorable images.

There were also moments of Indian players executing acts of perfect sportsmanship during Pakistan's run chase.

Star Indian allrounder Ravi Ashwin summed up the task of re-building Indian-Pakistan cricket relations before their most recent clash at the 2016 World Twenty20 tournament.

"This rivalry is huge, it's very hard to put a finger and tell how huge it is," he told AFP.

"It's probably bigger than the Ashes is. As far as Indians and Pakistanis go, I don't think they watch this as a game of cricket. It's more of a border rivalry."

None of that seemed to matter to the next generation of cricketers stepping into cricket's biggest rivalry.

It probably helped that India were absolutely superior to Pakistan with bat and ball in New Zealand.

An unbeaten century from Shubman Gill helped India set a competitive total of 272, which Pakistan never looked like reaching as they were skittled for 69 with more than 20 overs remaining.

Ishan Porel was India's hero with the ball, taking four for 17 in a match the tournament favourites utterly dominated.

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