Bengaluru, May 25 (IANS) With hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore entering play-offs at their own strength with four back-to-back wins, thousands of frenzied fans flocked to the Chinnaswamy stadium Tuesday night, rooting for their home team in taming debutant Gujarat Lions in the first qualifier of IPL-9 season.
As rain gods kept away while clouds played hide and seek on a hot day, die-hard fans of the game came in droves by all means, including the metro for a cracker of a contest between the top two teams to book a place in the final on May 29 here, while the loser will get a chance to play in the second qualifier on May 27 in New Delhi.
Fans were delighted by the early breakthrough RCB got when their orthodox spinner Iqbal Abdullah packed off Lions openers and big hitters Aaron Finch (4) and Brendon McCullum (1) in second over, followed by early exit of its skipper Suresh Raina (1) in the fourth over.
“It is relieving to see RCB bowlers picking up wickets and contributing their part to make up for their poor performance in the league matches when they struggled to contain the opponents. They did well in the last game and here now by restricting Lions to 158 and taking wickets at regular intervals,” said Sanjay
Singh, a tourist guide, in the western stands.
RCB bowlers restricted Delhi DareDevils to 138 for 8 wickets in their last league match at Raipur on May 22 to qualify for the play-off with 16 points from eight wins.
Aussie all-rounder Shane Watson was the pick of the RCB for four wickets, while Abdullah and Chris Jordan shared two wickets each.