The atmosphere was electrifying and the Chinnawamy stadium was packed to capacity when Shahrukh Khan's Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) took on the Bangalore Royal Challengers, a unique experience for Indian spectators to see their own teammen pitted against each other and Zaheer bowl out Ganguly.
The KKR batted first and Brendon McCallum's stunning knock of 158, the highest score in T20 cricket till date, of just 73 balls, propelled the team to 222 in 20 overs.
However, the Bangalore boys simply crumbled under pressure and lost the match convincingly. Sourav Gaungly didn't do well with the bat but took two wickets with the ball. For Rahul Dravid it wasn't a nice day. Kolkata won convincingly in the end.
The spectators may not be exactly sure how to enjoy the match. And whom to cheer. But one match is not enough to judge the fate of a tournament. Still, the IPL tournament took off well. It had got ample publicity. It could go both ways.
It may fetch crowd. Or such an overdoze sans patriotic feelings may even turn off the cricket crazy Indians as novelty may wear off after a few matches. The laser show, the cheergirls, Shahrukh supporting his team from the stands and the coloured clothing--the tamasha was perfect.
But Kerry Packer did all this long back and failed. One thing is sure. It will consume millions of manhours that will got waste in this country. On a second thought, its good for couchpotatoes to pass the Indian summer, with their eyes glued to TV screens.
[Photograph of Shahrukh Khan, ecstatic after the win over Vijay Mallya backed Bangalore boys.]