Bengaluru, April 18 (IANS) With the second tie of hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) being held on a Sunday night against Delhi Daredevils (DD), the exciting IPL-T20 tournament turned the Chinnaswamy stadium into a carnival for die-hard fans to revel and enjoy a keen contest on a green turf under glaring floodlights.
As sun set on yet another hot and humid day in mid-summer, thousands of fans swarmed around to get into the stadium early, passing through metal detectors, rough frisking and quick body checks by security guards amid tight security.
“Getting through some of the 20 gates into the stands is tough, as queues are not only a km long, but also slow-moving due to security checks, causing anxiety in finding a seat in a crowded galleries. It’s worth the trouble, as it’s a sheer fun watching the game here with friends and other crazy fans,” said college student S. Dayanand.
Stadium rocks as RCB top batting order dominate
A packed stadium of about 30,000 frenzied fans rocked as RCB’s top three batsmen barring the out-of-form Chris Gayle, dominated the DD bowlers, hitting them at will over the fence or out of it to post a defendable total of 191 for 5 wickets in the stipulated 20 overs.
Though Gayle badly let down his die-hard fans again by getting out for a duck on third ball of first over, South African hard-hitter AB de Villiers joined in-form RCB skipper Virat Kholi in delighting the crowds with glorious shots, including nine to the fence and one over it in a scintillating knock, rattling DD bowlers to post 55 in 33 balls.
“AB and Kholi brought the stadium live after Gayle left without entertaining us again for the second time this season. Though Kohli has been in the runs for long, de Villiers is the new RCB hero as has been in top form and sheer joy watch him play lovely shots,” said a beaming Murali Krishna from the pavilion stands.
A.B. and Kohli built the innings on a solid 107-run second wicket partnership in 65 balls, though less than the 157-run partnership they registered against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 13 on the turf.
With Shane Watson joining Kohli after AB fell in 12th over, the fans were treated to another round of glorious cricket, as both of them built a 63-run third wicket partnership in just 30 balls, with the Aussie all-rounder playing a cameo innings of 33 in 19 balls (3×6 & 2×2), while the captain amassed 79 in 48 balls with three sixes and seven fours.