SRH-RCB showdown is a big draw

HYDERABAD: The flags and jerseys in the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium (RGICS), Uppal, on the day Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) took on Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) on Thursday were not all orange.

Despite the home team playing a popular rival, the latter has a following of its own, leading to a large number of RCB fans waving red flags. The team, apart from having several heavyweights, is treasured more for Virat Kohli, who enjoys a loyal fan base here for several years now.

Interestingly, fans claim that this match is the only “meaty” match Hyderabadis get to watch from the stands this season.

“All other opponents who fought SRH in its backyard have been pretty bland. When we knew Hyderabad would be hosting IPL matches, after four long years, we were hoping to see a showdown with our biggest rival, Chennai Super Kings (CSK). We'll have to make peace and take it all out on RCB,” said Ramesh Babu S, a 'die-hard' cricket fan.

Despite SRH's bleak performance this year, fans have always turned up in large numbers cheering for them until the last ball.

"Everybody's with the team when it's winning, a true fan is one who sticks even when they're losing. It's sad we couldn't make it till the end but it's definitely a great match to watch them play RCB," said Simran Jain Sisodia.

RCB fans like Avinash Reddy K. hoped to watch Kohli score a century. "He hasn't had one this season and we thought it would be great to watch him do that right here," said Reddy, who turned up in a red jersey, holding a chart that read 'You don't need a crown to be king, and so don't need a cup to be glorified'.

There were also true-blue sportive SRH fans, rooting for RCB.

"Honestly, Bengaluru played consistently well and deserves to be in the playoffs. The win doesn't mean much to SRH, so I guess we can let it go," said Marthanda Amit K.

Yet others wanted one final win on their soil. "It's the final home match and though the team isn't qualifying, as a fan, I really appreciate the efforts they've put in and I'm sure, they'll be a better side next year. After all, every sunset is followed by a sunrise!" said Angelina S, an SRH fan.

Meanwhile, traffic troubles peaked right from Ramanthapur to Uppal and Mettuguda to Uppal, along with crowded metros. Some commuters didn't mind the cheering on the roads, while others couldn't wait to get home and watch the match.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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