Cricket fans turned up in large numbers to witness the seventh place play-off encounter between India and Pakistan in the ICC Women's World Cup, at Cuttack on Thursday.
With both India and Pakistan already out of the contention for a knock out berth after being hammered by Sri Lanka and South Africa respectively in their group league fixtures, the Barabati Stadium, for the first time in the tournament, witnessed a huge rush of spectators.
Indian women beat arch-rivals Pakistan by six wickets to end their campaign on a winning note.
The fans throughly enjoyed the proceedings as they witnessed the rivalry unfolding in front of their eyes.
The venue was turned into a fortress with about 1500 security personnel guarding the stadium, the venue of all the Pakistan matches.
Meanwhile, in a related development, the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) ton Thursday lifted restrictions like carrying cellphones and food packets inside the stadium after the ouster of "Women in Green" from the World Cup.
In its bid to provide complete security to the Pakistani players, the OCA had put certain restrictions on spectators though no ticket was required for witnessing the matches.
"From tomorrow onwards, the spectators will be allowed to bring their cell phones, food packets and water bottles (plastic) while entering from Gallery No 1 & 2 of the Barabati Stadium," said OCA secretary Asirbad Behera.
In the Super Six matches, South Africa will meet West Indies tomorrow followed by their ties against England on February 10 and Sri Lanka on February 13.
The fifth place play off match will also be held at Barabati on February 15.
"Many fans from Bolangir, Balasore and other parts of the state thronged the stadium to witness the match," said an OCA functionary.
The match also witnessed protest from Bajrang Dal and Utkal Bharat over the participation of Pakistani players as the activists courted arrest outside the stadium.
First Published: February 7, 2013, 9:48 pm