Fans come in droves to cheer home team RCB

October 7th, 2011 - 11:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Deepika Padukone Bangalore, Oct 7 (IANS) The first semi-final of the ICC Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) brought die-hard fans in droves late Friday to the Chinnaswamy stadium in this tech hub to cheer home team Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) taking on New South Wales (NSW) Blues from Australia.

The sensational two-wicket victory late Wednesday off the last ball with a majestic six by keeper Arun Karthik against South Australian Redbacks brought RCB into the semis on a better run-rate for a cracker of contest and a place in the tournament’s final in Chennai Sunday if they win again.

Though the early league matches in the two groups failed to draw even 5,000 spectators to the stadium, the dramatic upswing in the fortunes of RCB with two back-to-back wins over Somerset and Redbacks in high-scoring ties has nearly filled the 25,000-capacity stadium, with the low-priced eastern stands packed to the brim.

Even stands on both sides of the pavilion and high-priced corporate boxes alongside were crowded with high-profile guests and celebrities such as RCB’s owner Siddharth Mallya and Bollywood star Deepika Padukone.

“The way RCB fought and won against Redbacks inspired me to watch the match personally and extend support to the home team, as they have shown lot of grit to stay in the race. I hope dame luck will continue to smile on them to win this tie too against a tough team (NSW) for a berth in final as in the IPL (Indian Premier League) earlier,” bank official N. Sunder Murthy (36), told IANS.

Though RCB lost to Chennai Super Kings in the fourth edition of the IPL, they beat Mumbai Indians to enter the final for the second time in the Indian tournament.

With three of the league matches abandoned due to heavy rains earlier, fans are hoping that the rain gods will spare them from another agonising night though clouds and drizzle in the evening threatened to play spoilsport again.

“As there has been too much of cricket this year — beginning with the World Cup, followed by IPL and the disastrous tour of the Indian team to England — I lost interest to watch this tournament even on television at home. But some close matches here, especially by RCB, have drawn me to the stadium again,” said engineering student Murali Mohan.

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