RCB's must-win match attracts 10000 frenzied fans

After India’s whitewash in the recent Test series in England, many die-hard fans kept away from the stadium in almost all the eight league matches Getty Images

Bengaluru: Oct 5, 2011

About 10,000 frenzied fans late Wednesday trooped into the Chinnaswamy stadium to back home team Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) against South Australian Redbacks (SAR) in an eliminator of the ICC Champions League Twenty20 (CL20) for a berth in the semifinals.

After India’s whitewash in the recent English series in all formats of the game, even many die-hard fans kept away from the stadium in almost all the eight league matches played in this tech hub since the tournament’s opening tie Sept 23.

With RCB winning over English country Somerset by 51 runs Monday after losing to Kolkota Knight Riders (KKR) Sep 29 and Warriors of South Africa Sep 23, a rain-free night and Dasara fest holiday brought the fans in droves to nearly fill the eastern stands and partly western stands for the first time.

Heavy rains Sep 30 and Oct 1 forced the organizers to abandon as many as three games, including the tie between Somerset and SAR without a ball being bowled last Saturday.

The scintillating knock of 86 by RCB’s dashing opener Chris Gayle against Somerset late Monday, with eight mighty sixes and four fours reminded the fans of the West Indian southpaw’s big hitting in the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2011) early this year that took the home team to the final against Chennai Super Kings and a berth in this tournament as runners-up.

Though majority of the fans settled in seats well in advance to watch the ‘Gayle storm’ again on a rain-free night, they had to wait for long as Redbacks skipper Michael Klinger won the toss and opted to bat first.

The defiant batting by Redbacks from the very first over with its openers Daniel Harris and Klinger hitting freely followed by 114-run second wicket partnership between Harris and Callum Ferguson (70) tested the fans’ patience, as RCB bowlers failed to stem the run-gutting machine of their opponents. (IANS)