High octane start for IPL season in Bangalore

Bangalore, April 4 (IANS) The sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) T-20 tournament began on a high octane note here late Thursday with hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) taking on Mumbai Indians (MI) in their opening encounter.

Sweating out in humid weather, about 30,000 die-hard fans flocked to the Chinnaswamy stadium in the city centre, with many carrying RCB flags, wearing the home team's jerseys or T-shirts and sporting its caps and colours on cheeks.

When Mumbai's captain Ricky Ponting won toss and elected to field, there was a mad rush at all gates as frenzied fans wanted to settle down quickly in their respective stands to watch RCB's explosive opener Chris Gayle in action.

Though the IPL season began on a late working day in this tech hub, there was no dearth of spectators to gatecrash, with organisers claiming that about 80 percent tickets for all stands across the stadium sold out in advance.

"As IPL is the flavour of the season for its sheer fun and entertainment, I have bought tickets for all matches that will be played here as I am an ardent fan of RCB, especially Gayle who is a pure joy to watch him hit fours and sixes at will," business executive Sharat Kumar told IANS in the stands.

*******************

Electrifying atmosphere & carnival mood rocks stadium

The opening league tie between hosts Royal Challengers and the high-profile Mumbai Indians with stars like Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Kiron Pollard, Rohit Sharma and Harbhajan Singh in the playing XI, an electrifying atmosphere rocked the stadium, as the bipartisan fans rooted for the rival team as much as for the home team and the cheer girls swayed to the rock music.

Though fans were not allowed to bring in musical instruments or other objects owing to tight security and frisking, there was no dearth of raw energy to create a carnival mood, cheering, waving, hooting, clapping and screaming whenever a boundary or a six was hit and a wicket fell.

"Watching such matches from stands under floodlights is exciting because a real atmosphere builds up and gets surcharged as the game unfolds and an intense battle between bat and ball ensues. Watching the same on television at home is passive and lacks the thrill that we get being in the middle of action," college student S. Mahalingam observed in the pavilion stand.

**********************

Chris Gayle steals the show again with mighty sixes and fours

True to his form and reputation, RCB's opener Chris Gayle proved once again why he is the most feared batsman in the IPL tournament.

Though the West Indian southpaw took time to settle down when RCB was asked to bat first and lost his opening partner Dilshan Tillakaratne in third over for a duck, the danger man played through the stipulated 20 overs and remained unbeaten with 92 from just 58 balls, mostly coming from five mighty sixes and 11 racy boundaries to the fence.

"It is heartening to watch the tall Gayle play at his best. He proved again what an invaluable player he is to the home team (RCB). But for him and his 76-run unbroken sixth wicket partnership in 44 balls with K.B. Arun Karthik, the team would not have put a defendable score against a stronger team like Mumbai's," beamed N. Sudhakar Kulkarni, an accountant in a local firm.

******************

Harrowing time for city cops and vehicle users in tech hub

With all roads leading to the stadium through choked roads in downtown and thousand of fans hurrying to reach the venue for a pulsating game in cars and two-wheelers, about 1,000 policemen, including four DCP, 15 ACPs and 38 sub-inspectors had a harrowing time, as they had to regulate hundreds of vehicles jamming the thoroughfares and cramming for every inch of space to move.

"As the stadium is located in the central business district of the city and the match starting evening when office-goers and shoppers return home through peak-hour traffic, we had to not to only regulate the vehicular movement, but also restrict them from passing around the stadium and ban vehicle parking up to 1 km," a senior police official grumbled.

With the metro rail tunnel work blocking a major portion of Cubbon Road on the northern side of the stadium, vehicle users had an equally tough time to find parking space even beyond a km in downtown due to traffic snarls and gridlock.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as England coach

Moores gets second stint as England coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »