BENGALURU: Another India-Pakistan match on a Sunday with traffic-free roads and fine weather — there was a sense of deja vu prior to the Champions Trophy final. Sadly, the excitement died out soon as the Pakistan batsmen steamrolled the Indian bowlers.
Kannada actress Parul Yadav was among those watching the match at the venue, The Oval, in London. At the innings break, she said, “It’s so refreshing to see the bonhomie amongst fans of both countries. The Indian crowd is feeling a bit low but still hopeful. It was a very good total by Pakistan and I have to admit that they’re playing really well.”
Back home, many Bengalureans who couldn’t afford to make it to the stadium did the next best thing -- flocking to watering holes to catch a screening of the match. Church Street Social, which had cashed in prior to Prime Minister Modi’s speech by offering shots at a price of just `31 every time Modi said ‘mitron’, did something similar this time too. They offered three Longest Long Island Ice Teas (LLIIT, a cocktail) for the price of two every time a wicket fell. An excited crowd was present in large numbers in the beginning of the match, but as India’s innings unfolded, hope slowly waned.
Praveen Solanki, who was at Social to watch the match with his friends, one of whom had the Indian flag painted on his cheek, said many people left the pub during the innings break itself. But Praveen was among those who remained hopeful and stayed on, only to be left disappointed.
Another fan at the pub, Dinesh Jain, said, “When the match began we were drinking as we were happy, and now we’re drinking to drown our sorrows.”
At Hoppipola, the disappointment was clearly visible as customers slowly filed out of the restaurant after the Indian top order had crumbled. For Rohan Ajit and his friends, even alcohol wasn’t alluring enough as they left the restaurant after India lost six wickets.
Damini Patel and Neha, who had chosen the pub Easy Tiger on Church Street to watch the match, were debating on another plan as their original plan came to a premature end.