Hundreds of cricket lovers from North Andhra as well as Odisha thronged Dr YSR ACA VDCA Stadium at PM Palem here on Friday, to witness the first day of the second test between India and England.
A good batting performance by the hosts on the first day of the test, including young Indian opener Yashasvi Jaiswal’s unbeaten 179, delighted the spectators at the stadium.
Fans started to arrive at the stadium right from 6.30 a.m. and stood in queue lines. However, the gates were opened at 8 a.m. There were spectators from Rajamahendravaram, Kakinada, Narsipatnam, Salur, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam from the State, apart from Berhampur, Gunupur and some parts of Odisha. Women, elderly persons and children were also present in large numbers.
As anticipated, scores of students from various colleges have arrived at the stadium from the morning, as the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) had given an opportunity for them to watch the match free. Long queue lines were witnessed at several gates, especially near a gate to enter stand ‘K’, where the students were allowed. To ensure every student gets the opportunity, the authorities have opened some more gates for them.
Several vendors sold Test India Test and ODI jerseys and caps from Indira Gandhi Zoological Park till the stadium. While T-shirts were sold at ₹150 to ₹300, caps were sold at ₹100. Some vendors were seen painting ‘India Flag’ on the cheeks and hands of the supporters charging ₹25.
A large number of supporters from England occupied several stands in the stadium. Youth and college students were seen interacting and taking selfies with them. Most of the stands were seen occupied on the Day One. The authorities said the occupancy ratio is likely to increase during the weekend.
There were many moments when stadium erupted in joy. Rohit Sharma coming for the toss, Yashasvi Jaiswal’s stunning innings which included five sixes and local boy K. Srikar Bharat coming to play for the first time on his home ground were some of them. However, the best moment for most of the fans was the opener Jaiswal completing his ton with a six.
“It was a really good batting performance from the team. Young opener Jaiswal batted very well. Other batters too had good starts, but failed to capitalise on them. We thoroughly enjoyed the partnerships,” said K. Manikanta from Samarlakota.
Boyana Anirudh from Berhampur of Odisha said that he is very excited for Day Two of the match, as Jaiswal may score his first double century.
The authorities provided free drinking water in all the stands. The spectators said that the prices of snacks, drinking water, lunch was also reasonable. However they said that the prices of cool drinks was a bit high.