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Irfan wins hearts of home crowd

The crowd watching the last ODI against Lanka had everything to cheer as the pacer snapped three wickets in his maiden hometown match.

india Updated: Nov 12, 2005 18:30 IST

The crowd watching local lad Irfan Pathan in action against the Sri Lankans in the final ODI here Saturday had everything to cheer as he snapped three important wickets in his maiden hometown match.

The crowd went wild after India's bowling spearhead removed Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu and left-hander Russel Arnold on consecutive deliveries and then charged for his hat-trick that was, however, averted by Lokuhettige Dilhara.

The crowd cheered every time Pathan started his run-up. The pacer, playing his 43rd ODI, conceded 38 runs in his effort.

Earlier left-arm rookie mediumpacer RP Singh cut the tourist side to size by sending three batsmen back to the pavilion.

Singh took wickets of Kumar Sangakkara (32), Mahela Jayawardene (20) and inform batsman T. Dilshan (4).

The Man-of-the-Match award winner at Rajkot, Singh conceded only 33 runs but Pathan was the darling of the crowds.

No tricolour, Sri Lankan flag unfurled in Vadodara

There was no unfurling of the Indian tricolour or the Sri Lankan flag prior to the start of the seventh ODI here Saturday with even officials in the dark about the reason.

A Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) official, when contacted, expressed surprise but did not divulge the reason.

Another office bearer started scolding the staff on his walky-talky for forgetting the ritual.

Some people assumed that the flags did not come up as the nation is mourning the demise of former Indian president KR Narayanan.

Tendulkar's look-alike entertains Vadodara crowd

Baljeet, a look-alike of Sachin Tendulkar, came to Vadodara from Punjab, watched Indian and Sri Lankan players in action and won the hearts of the crowd at the IPCL ground Saturday.

Clad in Team India's blue uniform, Balbeet was busy shaking hands with people. Wherever he went, a small crowed followed him.

"I have not met Sachin here, but I want to see him," he said.

"I love everybody who has come to see the match. I love you too," he told the crowd, imitating the master-blaster.

First Published: Nov 12, 2005 18:30 IST