Heat, working day keep fans away from league tie

Bangalore, April 9 (IANS) A working Tuesday and soaring temperature kept thousands of frenzied fans away from the league match of the Pepsi IPL T20 tournament match between hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SH) at the Chinnaswamy stadium in this tech city.

In contrast to packed stands for the first match that was played late Thursday (April 4) and went down to the wires with a two-run win from the last ball for the home team against Mumbai Indians, the 35,000-capacity stadium was less than half full, as even ongoing exams have kept students away from the game.

"Summer heat, working day and annual exams have come in the way of even die-hard fans turning up in large numbers as was anticipated. Unlike in the last game when we had capacity crowds with about 90 percent of tickets sold out, we had to keep the ticket counters open long after the match started," a Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) official told IANS in the pavilion.

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Fans of low-priced tickets sweat out under hot sun

It was a raw deal for the majority of fans across the stadium, especially in the eastern stands as they had to bear the brunt of the sun on a humid late afternoon with no roof over their heads.

Fans of low-priced tickets ranging from Rs.500 to Rs.1,000 had to sit on baking hot seats facing the sun in the western sky, while their privileged counterparts in other stands had the luxury of a fully covered roof and lengthening shadows to keep away from blazing sun.

Though some of the stands in the pavilion and southern sides had sizeable fans filling up, thanks to complimentary tickets from sponsors and members of the hosts (KSCA) and RCB, hundreds of seats in the western stands where tickets were priced between Rs.1,100 and Rs.6,600 remained empty through the first innings.

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Home crowds root for RCB to avenge super over defeat

With hosts RCB playing back-to-back games against Sunrisers after losing by five runs to them in Hyderabad late Sunday in the super over, die-hard fans were seen rooting for the home team to avenge the defeat on home turf and get back to the winning ways.

After both the teams were tied at 130 runs in their respective second league tie, RCB lost to SH with its explosive opener Chris Gayle and captain Virat Kholi able to score only 15 runs in their super over as against 20 by Sunrisers batters Cameron White and Thisara Perera.

"Though it was an exciting contest with all the elements of the T-20 version of the game, RCB were a bit unlucky to lose in the super over, as Gayle and Kohli had to face Sunrisers' fierce pacer Dale Styn of South Africa, who is rated as the fastest bowler in the world currently. I hope our team will be able to make it up in the regular game this time," Shravan Kumar, a 24-year-old techie, told IANS in the eastern stands.

Having won the toss and elected to bat, Sunrisers scored 161 for six wickets and set a target of 162 for RCB in the stipulated 20 overs after its middle order batters White and Perera put up a 80-run fourth wicket partnership.

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