The first international cricket match to be held in Hubli, which began at the KSCA Stadium at Rajnagar here on Wednesday received an overwhelming response with thousands of fans thronging the stadium.

First ball

By the time Zaheer Khan began his run up before bowling the first ball of the match, the stadium was almost full. The ecstatic crowd cheered loudly as the paceman bowled his first bowl to opener Kraigg Brathwaite. The crowd cheered again as the right-arm medium pace bowler Dhawal Kulkarni began his first over bowling to Kieran Powell.

By 10 a.m., the 15,000 capacity stadium was full, but people were still walking in, trying to find space to sit down. A few hundred visitors watched the match standing.

The crowd erupted with joy as Zaheer took his first wicket. Several fans carried placards and flags supporting the Indian team. Several senior cricketers from the region watched the match.

Former ministers Basavaraj Horatti and Basavaraj Bommai were present. As entry was free, several students attended the match. First year PUC student M.M. Mathapathy reached the stadium by 8 a.m. to find good seats.

He and his friend C.S. Doddamani were overjoyed to see Zaheer Khan in action. Students and young cricketers Shashank Patil and Samarth Ooty were happy to volunteer as they got an opportunity to meet international players.