KXIP vs RCB: Robin to the rescue
The chiefs watch as a big total, wisecracking emcee and perfect weather fail to keep Robin Uthappa from stealing another win from KXIP.
Kevin Pietersen. Walking in with 130 needed off 13 overs, he scored an unhurried, unbeaten 66 and stayed put till the end to ensure victory for RCB.
Easily the best ground in India to watch cricket in from ground level seats, thanks largely in part to the absence of grilled fences. For once, spectators didn't feel they were caged animals. For a perfect weather match, attendance was surprisingly sparse, with gaping holes in some stands.
Getting into the ground felt like walking into a billionaire's swiss bank vault. Frisked by two policemen at the first entrance, we walked through a maze for hundred metres only to be confronted with metal detectors.
Once past that, we waited in line to slot our tickets into machines and push past a ten foot high piece of grilled metal to gain access to just the tennis courts on the outside of the stadium! A four hundred metre walk ended the ordeal. The view was well worth it, but the seats and the restrooms weren't.
Punjabi music, as expected, was the flavour of the night but emcee sure did put in his energies to get the crowd going. Every player who came out to bat, every boundary scored, every dot ball bowled, by the home team was followed up by a Punj-lish wisecrack and some coaxing cheer words. It worked well till the 36th over of the match, and then there was silence.
The home team misfielded and dropped catches generously, and boy did we benefit. After the last dropped catch- Sangakkara grassing Pietersen and managing to kick the ball for four-even the partisan DJ displayed 'Whoops' on the sight screen.
Ironically, the first stall we encountered as we walked into the stadium was a Fly Emirates Flying catch contest, where participants were made to stand on a rubber bed and asked to dive and catch balls fired at them from bowling machines. Maybe a session there might be useful.
We'd been heckled in Punjabi by some twerps all evening, but our reply came from the field, with three balls in the 17th over. Robin Uthappa walked in, and in Brett Lee's last over, launched a six over long off, crashed a four through the sight screen, and then sent a short ball into orbit for another maximum.
The required run rate per over dove from 12 to 7, and we could finally do a vocal fist pump with no chance of a retort. Robin, you beauty.
A come from behind win at one of the best stadiums to watch cricket on a pleasant evening. With moments that make watching T20 cricket worth the while. A