Bangalore rocks at the IPL opener
The Indian Premier League couldn't have dreamt of a better start.
The "new era" in cricket dawned - never mind the night lights - with just the kind of adrenaline-pumping cricketing action that the organizers hoped would set the tone for the game's richest tournament.
Even if the first match - Bangalore Royal Challengers versus Kolkata Knight Riders - fizzled into a no-contest in the second innings, the rousing pyrotechnics from Kolkata opener Brendon McCullum grabbed enough eyeballs among television viewers across the country to prove that IPL, in the end, was about cricket and it is on-field action that's going to make or break it.
This was a day Bangaloreans weren't going to miss. Though, in the end, they watched in dread as the home team collapsed under the weight of McCullum's awesome, unbeaten innings of 158. Bangalore lost by 140 runs, falling for 82 in reply to the daunting 222 put up by the Kolkatans.
For a city used to top international acts making their Indian debuts, the launch of the Indian Premier League could have been just another event. That certainly was not the case as the crowds made a beeline to the stadium from as early as 3.00pm, with most parts of the decked-up Chinnaswamy Stadium, getting filled much before the start of the opening extravaganza.
As BCCI president Sharad Pawar put it, the world was watching Bangalore on Friday night and Bangalore wanted to be present in strength where it was all happening. History was made at 7.25pm when IPL chairman and commissioner, Lalit Modi, declared the mega event open.