Bangalore, June 1
Billed as one of the most exciting sporting events, the Indian Premier League (IPL) final turned into a carnival at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here Sunday as Kolkata Knight Riders took on Kings XI Punjab much to the delight of the frenzied fans.
In line with its tradition, the glittering trophy was displayed at the pavilion end flanked by both the teams along with local boys and girls as the National Anthem was rendered.
“It’s thrilling to be here as the IPL final is being played in Bangalore for the first time. It’s a fun time as there is more entertainment, colour and noise than a serious game of bat and ball in the middle,” management trainee Sunita Kumari said as the match got underway.
Bollywood stars and celebrities hog limelight
It was a big night for Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta as both are co-owners of the Knight Riders and Kings XI, respectively. A bespectacled Khan was seen with his daughter Suhana in the front row of the pavilion while Zinta was at ground zero with the team’s support staff.
As the Knight Riders opted to field, Khan watched the game keenly, tracking every ball and looked tense on occasions when Kings XI batters Manan Vohra and Wriddhiman Saha ripped his bowlers apart.
In contrast, Zinta was all fun and frolic, cheering at almost every ball being hit either for a four or six or smart running between the wickets.
Former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia was also seen in the pavilion waving and greeting fans when he was noticed on the giant screen as cameras zoomed on him.
Being an IPL final and a Sunday, besides senior Board of Control for Cricket for India (BCCI) officials, including interim president Sunil Gavaskar and IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal, scores of former cricketers and present players were in the VIP stands with families.
Sehwag, Maxwell let down fans, Shah, Vohra delight
Even as fans waited eagerly for Virender Sehwag to explode as he did in the Eliminator Friday against Chennai Super Kings in Mumbai, his early exit for a paltry 7 in 10 balls let them down as they didn’t get to watch a vintage Sehwag.
Put in to bat first, the media box was surprised to see Bailey walk in to the middle at the fall of Sehwag in the fourth over instead of Glenn Maxwell, signalling a shift in strategy. But Bailey hardly lasted as he got bowled by a wily Sunil Narine for a solitary one.
When Saha came in to bat at the fall of Bailey, fans were shocked at the delay in sending Maxwell or even David Miller. Vohra and Shah took time to settle down but opened up in 12th over to the sheer delight of fans as they put up a 129-run third-wicket partnership in 73 balls.
Saha is the first player to score a century in an IPL final beating the previous high of 95 by Murali Vijay of Super Kings against Royal Challengers Bangalore at Chennai in 2011.