Testing time for fans as rain plays spoilsport (IPL Diary)

May 14th, 2011 - 9:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, May 14 (IANS) Sudden showers after a hot afternoon disrupted play in the Indian Premier League match between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR at the Chinnaswamy stadium here Saturday.

When RCB’s stand-in skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to field under a blazing sun, there was no sign of rain with only passing clouds overhead.

After 11 overs, however, when the Knight Riders were at 69 for the loss of three wickets, dark clouds emerged from nowhere and the heavens opened up suddenly around 5 p.m. forcing the players to run for cover as the ground staff rushed to cover the pitch and the outfield.

When the rain halted, the ground staff swung into action to allow resumption of play at the earliest, using the latest rollers (super soppers) and mopping techniques to dry the pitch and the outfield.

As 128 minutes of play were lost due to rain, the stipulated 20-over match was reduced to 13 overs for both the teams in accordance with the Duckworth Lewis method.

“The intermittent rain stopped 58 minutes of play for each side, during which seven overs could have been bowled,” an official said.

Meanwhile, it was a testing time for the 25,000-odd fans across the stadium to wait with fingers crossed for the play to resume even as the sky cleared and the rain-bearing clouds moved away.

“Bangalore has no weather of itself. It reminds me of London weather. Even in the midst of summer, a typical day starts with clouds, giving way to hot sun and suddenly it rains in the evening and nights are cooler with breeze wafting across,” Rakesh Mathur, 39, a sales executive with an FMCG firm, told IANS in the western stands.

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Fans throng stadium to witness ‘Gayle storm’ again

With RCB’s fiery opener Chris Gayle blazing guns in the last six games for the home team to win on the trot, his die-hard fans were back in the stands in full force to witness the southpaw hit sixes and fours in the second half of the rain-marred match.

Though RCB signed up Gayle midway in place of an injured Dirk Nannes, the tall West Indian hunk has been instrumental in the home team’s winning spree, having scored 398 runs in six innings, with two centuries (102 and 107) against KKR and Kings XI Punjab at an average of 99.50.

“It’s sheer joy to watch Gayle hit over the fence and across the boundaries. Though bowlers may dread his batting, he remains cool as cucumber with hardly any change in expression. It’s also fun to see him do a jig on the pitch when he takes a wicket while bowling as left-arm spin bowler,” exuded Laxmi Shankar, a pre-university student, who has been watching every RCB game on the home turf.

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King Khan, cheer girls entertain fans as rain plays truant

As owner of KKR, Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan was cynosure of all eyes in the stadium. With rain playing spoilsport on a cool weekend evening, the crazy fans in thousands couldn’t ask for more, as Khan was in ‘action’, cheering the crowds and waving back to them in the company of his son Aryan.

Not to be left behind, the cheers girls of RCB and KKR kept the fans engaged, tap-dancing and rocking to blaring music. As rain halted and resumed intermittently, fans were seen doing a ‘Mexican wave’ across the stands, cheering, whistling, blowing trumpets and waving RCB’s red flags.

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