Bangalore, April 17 (IANS) 'They are down but not out' is the common refrain among die-hard fans of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), as the home team took on Pune Warriors (PW) late Tuesday at the Chinnaswamy stadium in the Indian Premier League (IPL-V) T-20 tournament.
With three consecutive losses, two on home turf and one away, the beleaguered RCB is desperately looking for a win to bounce back in the tournament as it did in the last IPL season to end up runners-up for the second time.
"Though the team started the season on a winning note by beating Delhi Daredevils (April 7) by 20 runs, it is disappointing to see them losing the subsequent three games. We hope they will bounce back from this game," 19-year-old Sunil Kumar, a college student, told IANS in the eastern stands.
RCB lost to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 42 runs here April 10, to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by five wickets in Chennai April 11 and by 59 runs to Rajasthan Royals (RR) late Sunday on the home turf.
Working day, humid night keeps many fans away
A humid night after a hot working day kept hundreds of fans away from the venue as stands had wide open spaces in contrast to the packed crowds that filled the stadium late Sunday.
"After a hard working day, we were aware that it would be difficult for even ardent fans to come to the stadium for a late night match. A prolonged dry spell and extended summer without the normal April showers are also making them (fans) to prefer watching the game from home," an official of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) said, as the 30,000-seat capacity stadium remained half-empty.
Only those who bought season tickets and having complimentary passes turned up to root for the home team (RCB) hoping for a reversal of fortunes.
"We are waiting for Chris Gayle to repeat his explosive batting that set the stands on fire last time and took the team to the final again. Even Virat Kohli is yet to display his batting prowess here. Hope they will click in this game," Krishna Bhat, a sales executive, said even as Warriors set an imposing 183-run target for the RCB to chase.
Traffic snarls, grid lock haunt cops, enrage drivers
A late night T20 tie being played in the central business district during the peak hours after a hot working day led to massive traffic snarls around the stadium and mile-long grid lock on the busy thoroughfares of the city, notorious for jams and road rage.
Though the city police deployed about 200 traffic cops to regulate the vehicular movement and banned parking in and 1km around the stadium, hundreds of vehicles were stranded enroute, leading to road rage, heated exchanges and frustration.
"We have tried our best to ensure vehicles will keep moving. Even traffic signals were stopped at some junctions to ease the congestion and green signal was extended at other inter-sections to clear the vehicles. But lack of lane discipline and irresponsible driving even by the educated drivers have caused chaos," a senior police official said.
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