RCB vs DD: Celebrity chats, and a stunner of a catch
Live chat sessions with Deepika Padukone and Cameron White pepped up a disappointing day as RCB suffered their first loss at home even as I moved from stand to stand and compared the experience. And AB De Villiers upped the standards for 'Catch of the tournament'.
Here I was, thinking that the name K Jadhav would be associated with Indian sport for winning an Olympic bronze medal in wrestling at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952.
But his namesake for the Delhi Daredevils, while still just starting out for the Delhi Daredevils, made quite an impression. He carted boundaries in his unbeaten 50 (29 balls) like the wrestler might have his opponents, and the 44 run burst in the last three overs of the first innings that he orchestrated, swung the match away from RCB.
AB De Villiers's stunning catch of Praveen Kumar. Watching from the stand at fine leg, we cheered as the swat went aerial and only managed to pick up flailing arms and legs against and the disappearance of the ball into what looked like the crowd.
It happened so quick the Force India F1 car behing AB would have been proud. I didn't check what the big screen flashed after the wicket, but Wow would have been appropriate.
Laptop, camera, Internet datacard and a bottle of water. As I moved between stands for the live chats and interactions with fans, the security guards fussed over my bags with increasing interest. Oh well.
Best place to watch the game from
So far, at the Chinnaswamy stadium, I'd experienced the games from the J Corporate Box (the stands on top on the pavilion side) and P4 (Long off boundary for a right hand batsman facing the pavilion). Both had been immense fun, but yesterday I was introduced to class.
The IPL Club Lounge and President's office offer an experience a little removed from what fans are used to. I don't know how I'd concentrate on the match in the lounge with the plush sofas and non-stop food and beverage service. Not to mention the fact that you might be rubbing shoulders with the owners of the teams.
The President's office is a fancy cabin room and you watch the cricket through a glass. It houses stalwarts from yesteryear, and the men who run the game. You've also got to be quiet and clap, which I realised after a 'Yes!' following a Virat Kohli sixer.
My pick: The IPL Club Lounge.
Photo courtesy Chief Photographer Ashish Parmar
Player and celebrity chats
Deepika Padukone vs Cameron White. Two contrasting chat experiences, both as much fun.
As Warner began to take a fancy to Steyn, I facilitated a chat on the RCB website with Deepika for the fans. From time to time, she peeked over to follow the match, and when Vijay Mallya arrived, greeted him with a warm hug. Dressed in the RCB jersey, denim capris and sporting fancy golden Pumas, she plopped on the sofa and chatted away about RCB's performances (touching wood thrice on every mention of luck), a cricketer who'd make a good co-star (Ross Taylor!) and the like before flashing a smile and heading off to cheer the team.
I caught up with Cameron during the second innings, and with the required run rate hitting double digits, I couldn't help but wonder how all of his 6'3" (that's what it looked like)frame could have been handy in the middle. Slightly jet lagged from his long journey, he keenly answered questions from fans while standing to watch the match from behind the glass in the President's room. Relaxed and funny most times, Whitey looks like he'll be great with the fans.
Palpably excited, and every reason to be after four wins on the trot. The familiar red flags all over the stadium were beginning to stand out when something unusual happened. They danced and waved for three hours alright, but as the game progressed and the result began to tilt in Delhi's favour, blue Daredevils flags began to outnumber RCB's reds!
Either Delhi had a lot of support in there, or the guy planting their flags in the stadium prior to the match did a really good job to make it available.
Getting hotter, and it wasn't just in reference to the fight DD was providing. Bangalore's been great to watch the cricket in so far, but the first loss at home still hurt. B