Today in New Delhi, India
Jul 18, 2019-Thursday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

ICC World Cup 2019, England vs Pakistan: Taunts flow as fans divided and spreading mirth

For about two overs, Chris Woakes was the target of Pakistan fans’ banter, till Imam ul Haq came down the pitch and hit Moeen Ali inside out over extra cover. Woakes hared down for almost 20 yards, dived to complete a spectacular catch and immediately turned towards the stand, gesturing to zip it.

cricket Updated: Jun 04, 2019 10:34 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Somshuvra Laha
Nottingham
ICC World Cup 2019,England vs Pakistan,Fans
Pakistan fans cheer their team during the ICC World Cup match against England.(Action Images via Reuters)

It began at the Radcliffe Road Stand’s Lower Terrace West—a tidy tier that seats around a thousand spectators, swarming with Pakistanis holding banners, flags and dholaks. For about two overs, Chris Woakes was the target of their banter, till Imam ul Haq came down the pitch and hit Moeen Ali inside out over extra cover.

Woakes hared down for almost 20 yards, dived to complete a spectacular catch and immediately turned towards the stand, gesturing to zip it. That set off a chain of altercation that could have turned ugly had the umpires not asked Woakes to pipe down and get on with the game. The supporters of both sides, almost equal in number on Monday, though took it as a cue to have an occasional go at each other.

No one probably attracted more jibes as well as cheers than Ben Stokes. While a young fan waved enthusiastically at the all-rounder in a bid to get his cap signed, a burly spectator standing at the gate of the William Clarke Stand also tried to get his attention. “Eh Stokesy, remember Brathwaite? Carlos Brathwaite! Six, six, six, six!”

Every English cricket fan knows that poke too well. They also know that unless the World Cup is won this time, the pain of losing the 2016 World Twenty20 final will continue to haunt them, Stokes in particular, every now and then.

ALSO READ: ICC World Cup 2019: India sends net bowlers to presser, media boycotts interaction

Pakistan are 235/3 after 38 overs. An England supporter standing in front stares back but doesn’t respond, probably because his son of impressionable age is alongside. The jibes continue nevertheless. “Warming up for another six, eh?” By this time a small crowd has gathered to have a go at Stokes as he warmed up to bowl. As luck would have it, his first delivery of a fresh spell finds its way to the boundary through two diving fielders.

Sarfaraz not spared

Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed was a butt of ridicule too for some time, particularly for his hunched stance. “What the hell is that stance!” blurted out a slightly inebriated English fan waiting for his turn to get into the stands. A Pakistan fan almost went down on his knees when Mark Wood and the entire England team appealed for an lbw. “Arre, kya kar raha hai bhai? (What are you doing brother)” he purred. Soon enough Ahmed hits Woakes over midwicket for a boundary and there is relief all around.

The home fans however don’t find much reason to cheer. If Jason Roy’s dismissal subdued the euphoric chanting of ‘England, England’, there was pin drop silence after Stokes’s departure. “Here we go again,” sighed an England fan on his way from the stands to join the queue in front of a craft beer trailer. Not until Joe Root had started stringing the all-important partnership with Jos Buttler did they find their voice again. And once he became the first centurion of this World Cup, they were matching the Pakistanis. The hopes of the Pakistani fans though rose when Root fell for 107, and then Buttler for 103 in the death overs.

First Published: Jun 04, 2019 10:31 IST