Galleries, hopes brim as sun shines

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Kochi, Oct 2 (UNI) With the weather God smiling down in the form of bright sun shine, it is a full house at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium for the second of the seven match Future Cup ODI between India and Australia here today.

Young starry eyed cricket fans, yearning to see their favourite stars, especially the home-bred Team India pacer S Sreeshanth, went delirious waving the Tricolour and having it painted on their faces.

They thronged the stadium early to get the right spot in the galleries. They had been praying that they would get to watch the Indian and Aussie stars, espeically the former in the wake of Team India's Twenty 20 world cup triumph.

''There is tremedous response for the match due to India's T20 world cup triumph'', former Kerala player P K Balachadran, one of the convenors on the organising committee for the match and in charge of players amenities told UNI on the eve of the match.

Kochi, which went in to the ODI staging centre list of the BCCI, in 1998 staging a match between India and Australia in March, is now staging the sixth game. The India-Australia match was also the 85th overall.

However, the curators and the host Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) officials were hoping for a full match without any interruption by rains. It has been raining intermittently desptie the respite in heavy post monsoon weather.

The match was also special for the Kochi-born Sreesanth, who was also yarning to play before the home crowd and aiming to claim a bag of five wickets to emulate his hero Sachin Tandulkar, who took five wicket hauls on this ground first against the Aussies in the 1998 ODI and then in 2005 against Pakistan, helping India to win on both occassions.

The Aussies are also looking for their first win at this venue.

UNI

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