Crowd unruly as SA win series

Crowd unruly as SA win series

The ugly side of the Indian cricket fan came to the fore again on Monday as sections of the crowd at the Barabati Stadium here resorted to bottle throwing, marring the second T20 international that was won by South Africa.

After seeing their team surrender abjectly to the South Africans, sections of the packed audience chose to vent their ire in the worst manner possible, hurling bottles onto the ground.

They first started pelting the missiles during the later stages of India’s innings that ended at 92 in just 17.2 overs.

While that did not disrupt the match for long, as the final two Indian wickets fell in quick succession, the crowd resumed hurling the missiles when South Africa were coasting at 64/3, needing another 29 runs from 54 balls.

Despite repeated pleas from the public announcement system, the unruly crowd refused to listen, forcing the security personnel and ball boys to take cover. The scene was reminiscent of the 1996 World Cup semifinal in Kolkata when crowd trouble had halted the India-Sri Lanka clash.

The Indian players, aware they could get hurt, sat next to the pitch in a huddle while the two South African batsmen — JP Duminy and Farhaan Behardien — occupied the other side of the pitch. Security personnel had no choice but to evict the crowd and the match resumed after 23 minutes.

Two overs later, more bottles were hurled onto the ground. The disappointed Indians, and Duminy and Behardien, trudged off the field.

The general assumption was that the match had been awarded to South Africa via Duckworth-Lewis method but after a 21-minute stoppage, the match resumed with people ejected from most of the stands.

When the game restarted, Behardien fell to Axar Patel but Duminy and David Miller finished off the job in style as South Africa galloped home by six wickets to win the series 2-0, with one game left to play.
      

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