The response of the crowd, just days after the game was rocked by a scandal, was a reminder that for the fan on the streets what matters is a good contest

The biggest crowd for all IPL games this season in the city – to be precise - 31, 693 at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium – savoured the memorable, final moments of the IPL game between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders, cheering the triumphant SRH players lustily.

They all came to the party – with faces painted, wearing colourful ‘wigs’ and waving the flags untiringly. Often bursting into a deafening roar of applause to signal every moment of triumph for SRH on the field. The Mexican Waves were there too. The crowd was on its feet when Shikhar Dhawan leapt in the air to slash Jacques Kallis over point for a six.

At the end of all, they had every reason to go back home smiling, with a sense of ‘achievement and immense satisfaction’ as their local favourites SRH scripted a memorable finish – beating KKR to make it to the play-off phase of 2013 IPL on Sunday night.

There was excitement all round as SRH battled for one last time in the league phase in front of home crowds this season. When the moment of reckoning had finally dawned, the joy of the fans knew no bounds.

“We are here to see our team win the game and qualify for the play-offs. We are not concerned about these things (spot-fixing) for the simple reason that not all cricketers can be treated on par just because some of them were allegedly involved,” argues businessman Ravinder Reddy of Sravya Graphics, a left-arm spinner who played club cricket in 70s and 80s.

The response from the fans was in tune with the expectations. The passionate appeal by SRH mentor Krishnamachari Srikkanth to treat his outfit as ‘mana Hyderabad’ seemed to have been well received.

This crowd response, just a couple of days after the game was rocked by the ‘spot-fixing’ scandal, was in fact a gentle reminder that for the fan on the streets what matters is a good contest out there in the middle even as some of the ‘players’ might just be tempted to cross the ‘Laxman Rekha’.

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