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Sea of blue at Chinnaswamy as city supports Team India

Bengaluru: A sea of blue swarmed the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday afternoon as India took on the Netherlands at the final league game of the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup’s group stage.

Several hundred donning the traditional blue jersey began arriving at the entry gates of the stadium around 1.30 pm. Fans were ecstatic to finally see the Men in Blue’s first game of the current World Cup in Bengaluru.

Gagan B C, a 22-year-old from western Bengaluru’s Chandra Layout, said that he was excited to watch Virat Kohli play.

“I am hoping that Kohli hits his 50th ODI hundred today and breaks the record,” said Gagan, who was accompanied by his father.

Suhas Simha from Attibele on the city outskirts arrived at the stadium with five of his friends.

“The team is good and balanced this time around,” Simha, 25, said.

“In each of the group stage games, different players have received man of the match. We also want to see Kohli break the record.”

However, their hopes were crushed as Kohli was bowled out at 51 byRoelof van der Merwe.

Mohammed Rahul, a 24-year-old software engineer in the city who hails from Kerala, hoped that India would reach the finals and win the World Cup.

“Along with good performance, we would also need luck,” Rahul said. “I am here with my father who came from Kerala this morning only to watch the match with me.”

Police maintained a strict vigil in and around the stadium. While minor traffic snarls were visible, the traffic police and traffic wardens made sure there were no major jams.

A state intelligence official, who was part of the bandobast, said that the number of tickets sold in black was minuscule during this World Cup.

(Published 12 November 2023, 18:55 IST)

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