WATCH: Pakistan cricket fan arrives ON HORSE to see team face India in World Cup
As fans massed at the ground for one of the biggest showdowns in world sport, one was seen approaching waving a large Pakistan flag while riding atop a large white horse.
The fan was followed but a busload of passionate Pakistan fans as they made their way to the stadium as part of the 25,000 fans in attendance for the game between the two neighbors and fierce rivals.
The match got underway at 10.30 local time, despite fears that rain would pose a threat to proceedings.
There were overcast skies in Manchester and some rain is forecast, although there was no disruption to the start of the group stage meeting.
Anticipation had been building ahead of the match, which pits two cricket-obsessed nations against each other in a rivalry that is also seen as transcending sport.
An estimated 1 billion people will tune in to watch, while the match saw more than 500,000 ticket applications, more than any other meeting at the World Cup, including the final.
On the field, Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed opted to bowl first, perhaps taking into consideration the conditions and potential for rain.
Earlier in the day, Pakistani Prime Minister and cricketing legend Imran Khan had issued a message or support for the team, while advising Sarfaraz to bat first.
The decision to put India into bat appeared to backfire early on, as the two-time World Cup winners raced to a score of 160 in the first 27 overs, for the loss of just one wicket.
KL Rahul reached 57 before being dismissed, as Pakistan failed to take advantage of running mixups between the Indian openers.
Rohit Sharma reached a century, partnered by captain Virat Kohli as India sought to maintain their 100 percent record against Pakistan in World Cup matches.
Meanwhile, it's unclear where the man parked his horse while watching the match.