FAN FOLLOWING

First-person reports from the stands

Royal Challengers Bangalore v Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL, Bangalore

May 5, 2014

Bangalore parties with AB

Gaurav Mathur


Steyn who? AB de Villiers plays an outrageous shot to despatch Dale Steyn to the third tier, Royal Challengers Bangalore v Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL, Bangalore, May 4, 2014
Scoop Steyn? Yes, please © BCCI
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Choice of game
Bangalore was hosting only five games this season and I wanted to be there for as many as I could. I was rooting for Royal Challengers to win against Sunrisers Hyderabad, and they didn't disappoint. Before we took our seats, I remarked to my friends that probably AB de Villiers would take Dale Steyn to the cleaners like he had in 2012. In the end I was proved right and how!

Team supported
I knew Steyn and Co would pose a problem but Bangalore has the batting line-up in this edition of the IPL. I think they have the firepower to walk away with the trophy.

Key performer
AB "Superman" de Villiers played a magnificent innings and had the crowd on the edge of their seats. Hitting Ishant Sharma and Steyn over their heads, he spared Bangalore the blushes. It was an innings full of clean hits and you could hear the sweet sound of the ball cracking against the bat as AB went about his business. The crowd was certainly behind him and was chanting his name in unison even before the DJ tried to rouse them.

One thing I'd have changed
I wanted Yuvraj Singh to have a longer run at the crease and score heavily. He's a treat to watch when he's timing the ball. The crowd roared when Yuvraj stepped onto the field and having both him and AB in the middle would have been a great sight.

The face-off I relished
Steyn v de Villers. AB took Steyn to the cleaners in the penultimate over of the match and scooped him with what was a brave and cheeky shot. The crowd was jumping and dancing in the aisles. This was AB at his best and even Steyn grudgingly applauded the shot.

Another good face-off was between Mitchell Starc and David Warner in the last over of Hyderabad's innings. Starc didn't allow Warner to score off the first three deliveries and shattered his stumps off the fourth, which resulted in Hyderabad losing momentum right at the end.

Wow moment
Umpire Kumar Dharmasena made a near-perfect split while trying to avoid a throw from the in-field. The crowd laughed hard and I think it reminded many of an '80s disco move. Only the disco lights were missing.

Close encounter
Virat Kohli was near our stands for quite a bit and was the centre of attraction of every female in the stands. I saw women across all ages thronging near the balcony and the stands and hoping for a smile or a wave. We also had AB and Yuvraj near our stands and the crowd cheered for them warmly.

Shot of the day
Chris Gayle's straight drive off Steyn was hit so hard that Steyn had to jump away to avoid the bullet coming his way.

Entertainment
The DJ played a fine mix of Kannada and Bollywood music. Honey Singh's songs were quite a rage and played frequently. This was a party, after all, and the Bangalore crowd did not disappoint. There was some boisterous dancing to some local songs but overall the crowd was very well-behaved.

T20s v ODIs
I prefer T20. It's a great entertainment package with some hard-hitting and some quick wickets. The action is fast-paced and people generally don't get bored between innings. A DJ and some rocking music is a big plus, not to forget the gorgeous cheerleaders. I saw quite a few people taking selfies with the cheerleaders in the background throughout the match.

TV versus stadium
Watching cricket from the stadium is like being in one big party. The atmosphere is festive. You won't get that feeling while watching on television. The weather was great, the crowd was good, we danced in our seats and at times out of it and had an exhilarating experience.

Marks out of ten
9. It was a great game of cricket and the Bangalore crowd lived up to its name of partying hard and having a good time. I'm not giving the game a perfect score since Bangalore lost a lot of quick wickets, which led to some dull cricket before AB picked up the pace and smashed the bowlers around. The facilities were great and we were all cheering the RCB team on. I know I'll have a sore throat in the morning but it's nothing compared to the fun I had today.

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Gaurav catches as many cricket games as possible while working across time-zones as an investment banker. He idolises Wasim Akram and lives by his motto of playing hard and playing to win, both on and off the field.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Posted by   on (May 5, 2014, 16:19 GMT)

AB D you rock vs styne attack second time in ipl.... u r the best batsmen ever against world top bowler styne...

Posted by   on (May 5, 2014, 4:38 GMT)

@Bharath Lal: I think you were sleeping.

End of over 19 (9 runs) Hyderabad T20 149/5 (RR: 7.84) VR Aaron 4-0-33-2 DA Warner 61* (46b 4x4 3x6) AB Dinda 4-0-39-1 19.1 Starc to Pathan, 1 leg bye, full and low into the pad, Irfan cannot connect, the ball pops up on the leg side, Irfan is standing and watching before he is forced into action as Warner charges up 19.2 Starc to Warner, no run, yorker outside leg stump as Warner moves out and tries to make room, he misses, Irfan wants the bye now, but is sent back 19.3 Starc to Warner, no run, now he gives him the bouncer, even as Warner comes across and tries to get down on a knee, the ball rears up at him, Warner misses again 19.4 Starc to Warner, OUT, he's missed a final time this innings, walked across outside off stump, Starc went full on middle, and hit it DA Warner b Starc 61 (49b 4x4 3x6) SR: 124.48

Posted by   on (May 5, 2014, 4:07 GMT)

Another good face-off was between Mitchell Starc and David Warner in the last over of Hyderabad's innings. Starc didn't allow Warner to score off the first three deliveries and shattered his stumps off the fourth, which resulted in Hyderabad losing momentum right at the end.

It wasn't Warner, it was Naman Ohja.

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