As wickets tumbled, enthusiastic cheering ended in despair

As wickets tumbled, enthusiastic cheering ended in despair
It was a disappointed lot of Bengalureans who left cricket match screenings at pubs and restaurants on Sunday night. India’s loss to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final at The Oval, London, left fans dejected. MG Road and Brigade Road were quiet, the usual victory celebrations absent.

The evening that began with enthusiastic cheering, table-thumping and flag-waving ended with heads hanging low.

Halfway through the match, even though the odds were against the Indian team, true blue supporters remained optimistic. “I still have hope for our team. We have five wickets left and our luck could still take a turn for the better. Ravindra Jadeja is batting now and I think he will do well,” said Shahezad Rehani, who was at a resto-bar on Church Street to catch the match.

As more wickets fell and prospects looked dim, fans lost interest and switched from TV screens to smartphone screens.

“There are fewer people than usual today. Many are leaving because the match is not going well. When the wickets go down, our business also goes down,” said the manager at one of the joints on Church Street.

About 20 overs into the match, fans started to see hope again when the six-hitting Hardik Pandya started scoring at a brisk pace. Nikhil Jaitley, watching the match at a restaurant with a group of friends, insisted that everyone at the table stayed still. “I am a superstitious cricket fan. During a match between India and Australia, I sat for five hours with one end of a pillow in my mouth because I didn’t want to jinx our luck,” he said.

However, the hope did not last long and when the final wicket fell, folks turned to the highlights of Hockey World League semi-final match between India and Pakistan for solace. On social media, people drew attention to India’s thumping 7-1 victory against their arch rival.


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