MTJAG’s coverage of the Champions League T-20 took me to the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad on Saturday, 10th October, to see the local team Deccan Chargers take on the Somerset CCC. This was my first T-20 match and what a match it turned out to be.
We reached about an hour and half before the scheduled 8 PM start of the DC match. We caught a bit of the previous match as the crowds thronged the RG stadium to support the local team.
As the DC team went about the rounds doing their warm-up, the crowd went crazy with the DJ for the night providing the right music with the club anthems playing side by side with the theme of the CL T 20, which sounds more like the kingfisher jingle(!!!).
The Somerset team went about loosening their muscles silently, with Langer providing some thrilling visuals with his drives and pulls during practice…The Indian crowds do appreciate talent, even if it is an Australian one…so he got a lot of wows and oohs…he raised his bat to the crowd before he went to change for the match.
The teams came out and did their handshake before the match, a la Football.
And here are some views of the stadium.
The match was not sold-out, but we had about 15,000-20,000 spectators is my guess. And I should say that the in-stadia entertainment has grown in leaps and bounds. The last time I saw a cricket match in India was in the Eden Gardens in 2004 and it was not as entertaining as this one. There is something or the other happening with music and dances happening all over the place.
Now about the match. Well Laxman played his best T20 match scoring 40 odd runs and providing the bulk of the initial scoring. Gilly hit a few, Rohit Sharma came and played like he does, score some runs and get out.
Much was expected out of Symonds, but he too disappointed and it was left to Venugopal Rao (Venu or Rao gaaru) to take the score to some respectability. He hit his quota of sixes which actually made the total look competitive.
And the Somerset batting started off well till Pragyan Ojha came into the picture. He had figures of 3-0-10-2 which made the Somerset players toil hard for runs. With the score reading some 98/7 or something, the locals were in their cheerful best, expecting an outright victory for the Chargers. How wrong the calculations went.
DC realised that they number 8 batsman in the Somerset is not a mug with the bat and he put on more than 50 runs partnership, which changed the match.
The last ball finish which was provided by a very good over by Styris where he took 2 wickets and also gave away very few runs was the best match of the CL T 20 so far.
One of the semifinals and the final will be again in Hyderabad and if the Deccan Chargers or any of the Indian teams are going to make it, then probably you will find the report here in MTJAG. Till then, cheers.