Hyderabad : The aggressive knock by vice captain Yuvraj Singh, who hit a century, and the presence of film stars lifted the spirits of fans, who were otherwise disappointed by India’s performance in the third one-day international against Australia here Friday.
The new Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, which was hosting only its second international match, proved to be a favourite hunting ground for Yuvraj, who hit 121 runs, surpassing his own 103 runs in a match against South Africa in November 2005. The visitors had won that match by five wickets.
Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi, popular actors Balakrishna, Venkatesh and Srikanth were among the film personalities who cheered the cricketers and the fans, who were disappointed by the performance of the Indian top order.
The actors were seen waving Indian flags, sending their diehard fans into raptures. Amid drumbeats and tunes of “Chak De India”, fans cheered the shots played by Yuvraj Singh.
Earlier, the fall of three early Indian wickets shocked the spectators. There was pin drop silence in the packed stands before Yuvraj started playing his aggressive shots. Fans enjoyed his knock that included 12 fours and three sixes.
He also did well with the ball in the morning, picking up Australian skipper Ricky Ponting’s wicket for 47 runs in seven overs.
Dozens of cricket buffs enjoyed the match from atop rocks overlooking the crowded stadium.
Australia defeated India by 47 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the seven-match series.