WHILE SHIKHAR Dhawan scored a century at a ground where he made his debut in Test match cricket, Ashton Turner’s fiery knock of 84 runs off 43 balls meant that home fans returned disappointed after Australia scored a four-wicket win over India in the fourth ODI between India and Australia at IS Bindra PCA Stadium on Sunday. It was a packed house at the stadium with India posting a total of 358 for 9 in 50 overs before Australia reached the target with 13 balls to spare riding high on Turner’s knock and Peter Handscomb’s century.
“We had come to see India win the match but it was Ashton Turner’s knock, which changed the course of the match. Seeing high-scoring matches is always good for the fans and we enjoyed the match but it was disappointing to see India lose the match. I was at the stadium when Shikhar Dhawan had scored his maiden Test century against Australia.
This ground has been lucky for the Delhi opener. He is a cricketer with Punjabi roots and it is always good to see him score runs here. Both he and Rohit Sharma showed that they are one of the world’s best opening pair and it was a special knock by Dhawan. Sharma was unfortunate to miss his hundred but the way he batted too reminded the fans of the knock of 208 which he scored batting against Sri Lanka in December 2017 at Mohali,” said Deepak Sharma, a resident of Dinanagar, Punjab, who had come to see the match.
The tickets for the match had been sold out earlier this week and the 14 blocks at the stadium were almost full within two hours of the start of the match. The PCA Stadium had earlier seen the presence of foreign fans in plenty but Sunday was not such a case. There were some Australian fans, who had come to watch the match and one such fan, Jamison Fletcher, was seen cheering for Indian cricketers and Australian cricketers along with Sudhir Kumar, former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s loyal fan and Ram Babu, former Indian skipper M S Dhoni’s ardent fan.
“This is the second time that I am visiting India to see matches. The experience has been fantastic. Seeing matches in a country like India, where people are passionate about cricket is a special feeling. Shikhar Dhawan’s batting today reminded me of his debut hundred against Australia at Mohali a few years ago and today also, he showed the same class. He is a special player and his knock meant that Australia had to chase a big total. My favourite player in the Australian team is Glen Maxwell but unfortunately he could no play a big knock today. Ashton Turner turned the game around and it was nice to see Australia win and square the series,” said 31-year-old Jamison Fletcher, an Australian cricket fan from Brisbane who works as an outdoor photographer.
While it was a packed stadium with some fans even standing in some stands to watch the match, most of the fans had to wait for more than one hour to enter the stadium. The much-anticipated match was also watched by Krishna Murari, Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, who saw the match from one of the enclosure boxes. While PCA had stated that food prices will be nominal during the match, fans were seen complaining about the high prices of some food items.
“There was a separate entry for families and women. This was a good step by PCA. But it was a wait of more than two hours for students like us to stand in a queue. With all the tickets sold out, there could have been multiple entries for the chair block gates with security arrangements for the swift entry of fans into the stadium. Some fans who came late had to stand as their seats were occupied by other fans. Also, PCA should not sell food items at a price more than the usual rate. Two samosas were selling for Rs 40 while a patty was sold for Rs 30 apart from one cup of coffee being sold at Rs 40. There were some youths in the stadium who had come drunk and the police officials were seen taking them outside after they created a ruckus. The police should check such people before allowing them to enter the stadium since the SC has also banned the sale of alcohol in cricket matches,” said Priyanshu Arora, a student from Patiala.