Bengaluru, April 12 (IANS) Defying hot and humid weather, thousands of fans flocked to the Chinnaswamy stadium on Tuesday night to root for their home team Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) which took on Sunrisers Hyderabad in their first IPL-9 league tie.
Hundreds of youth, including many girls, lined up at the gates from 6 p.m. and endured the agonising security checks and frisking to enter the stands early.
“As I could not watch the ICC World T20 matches played here last month due to board exams, I have been eagerly waiting to see this match and enjoy watching my favourite players like Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle play,” pre-university course student B. Vinay Kumar told IANS.
Waving RCB’s red flags, sporting its caps and wearing T-shirts matching the old and new jerseys of the hosts, the fans were delighted to see RCB play first after skipper Kohli lost the toss and Sunrisers’ captain David Warner opted to bowl.
Though devout fans of big hitter Gayle were disappointed to see him return to the pavilion in the second over without causing a ‘gayle storm’ he is known for, AB de Villiers’s onslaught with sixes and fours all over the ground delighted them.
With in-form Kohli joining the party, the fans were excited to see the skipper carry on his cricketing shots from the World T20 tournament, as he treated them with a flurry of fours and sixes.
“It’s worth the money to watch de Villiers and Kohli bat in style they are known for,” said N. Devaraj, a techie.
Meanwhile, completion of the much delayed metro rail project work near the stadium and opening up of Cubbon Road relieved police and fans alike, as dust, congestion and chaotic vehicular movement gave way to smooth traffic flow and opening up of more gates to enter the stands.
“Closure of the main arterial road in the city centre for more than three years for the underground work of the metro project gave us tough time to regulate traffic, which had to be diverted to other roads, leading to frequent jams, especially during peak hours and when cricket matches are played in the stadium,” a traffic inspector told IANS.