Cuttack, Oct 5: Upset with India's dismal batting display in the 2nd Twenty20 International against South Africa, fans hurled plastic bottles onto the ground on Monday night.
After being sent to bat by South African captain Faf du Plessis, Indian batsmen struggled as they were bowled out for 92 runs in 17.2 overs. This was a must-win game for the hosts in the 3-match series after losing the opener by 7 wickets in Dharamsala.
Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina were the joint highest scorers for the MS Dhoni-led team with 22 apiece. The next best came from Shikhar Dhawan, R Ashwin and extras - all 11 each.
It was a full house (attendance - 44,790) at the Barabati Stadium, hosting its first ever T20I and some fans in one of the stands were agitated with the Indian team and started hurling plastic bottles onto the ground.
With the boundary ropes brought in, most of the bottles landed outside the playing area. There were nets at the ground but the bottles came from the higher stands.
To pacify the spectators, announcements were made by Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) and it was only after 10 minutes of drama that it was brought under control by the local police. But it was not the end.
This was after India were bowled out. Again water bottles were thrown with South Africa needing 29 more runs to win, at the end of the 11th over (South Africa 64/3). Play was stopped due to this crowd trouble. It resumed after about 25-minute stoppage.
After 2 overs, trouble started again (South Africa 70/3 in 13 overs). This time, the players were off the field with South Africa ahead on Duckworth/Lewis method by 15 runs. Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar on commentary, said, "This is so so sad. (This has) spoilt the name of Indian cricket."
The match restarted and South Africa won by 6 wickets with that the series 2-0. But the match will be remembered for crowd's disgraceful behaviour.
"We have banned small water bottles and water pouches which can travel more distance than a big size bottle which is not banned here," an OCA official told PTI.
One of the journalists wrote on his Twitter page, "20 ball boys in place now to catch bottles thrown by crowd over high net onto cuttack boundary after india poor innings."
Former India batsman VVS Laxman took to Twitter to express his disappointment with crowd behaviour. "The crowds may be upset with the way India played this evening but the way they are behaving is very disappointing. #IndvsSA," Laxman tweeted.
Tonight's 92 was the second lowest T20I score by India after 74 against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in February 2008.
Here are some of the tweets on the bottle-throwing incident
"Oh my team is losing maybe if I throw plastic bottles in the ground we might win" - Indian spectators.
"Oh my team is losing maybe if I throw plastic bottles in the ground we might win" - Indian spectators.— Kashif (@TheRealSnorky) October 5, 2015