The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Faces fall with wickets
- From cheers to jeers, fervour to farce ' Metro mirrors the day-and-night mood

Eden Gardens, gates 8, 10, 11 and 15; 1.30 pm (one hour to go)

The usual jostle to get in. 'Match at Eden and people staying at home ' how can that happen' Great weather and we have Sehwag, Sachin and Dhoni to cheer,' gushes Jai Prakash Mohta.

Akrur Dutta Lane (near Hind cinema), 2 pm

The usually crowded cricket hot spot is deserted. The TV set is switched off. 'It's not working and with Sourav not in the team, no one has bothered to repair it.'

Kasiabagan (near Jhowtala Lane), 2.25 pm

A blackboard with scores of the Pakistan-England Test dominates the spot where the para gets together to watch cricket. Barring a few kids and an adult (to operate the TV remote), there's no one to watch Team India.

Southern Avenue, 3 pm (India 20/2)

A small crowd around a TV set on the pavement is livid at Tendulkar's dismissal. Sandip Ghosh and his friends didn't make their usual trip to Eden. 'Ki hobey giye'

Jadavpur University, 4.15 pm (India 31/5)

The canteen erupts in cheers as Dravid departs. 'It's so strange that we should cheer the fall of an Indian wicket,' feels Rakhi, but her voice is drowned in the din. The man of the moment: Sourav. Second-year student Soumyajit refused to go to Eden with his friends. Outside the gate, auto-driver Tapash Sarkar is fuming: 'There's no problem if Sachin scores only two runs' Joto dosh Souraver!'

Bhowanipore, 75 Pally club, 5.10 pm (India 155/6)

A few youngsters have an eye on the TV, while the rest carry on playing computer games in the same room.

Barisha Sporting Club, Behala, 5.20 pm (India crumbling)

'Aar ki khela dekhbo' Khelar proti aar kono taan nei (I've lost all interest in the game),' Shatadru Hore sums up the sentiments in Sourav's backyard. 'In the past eight years, the Behala boys have never missed a match at Eden. But the club's closed today, we have nothing to do with this Indian team,' says Premanghsu, explaining the boycott.

Eden Gardens, Club House gate, 6 pm (India all out)

Disappointment is the dominant mood, as people trickle out for a break. 'Did you see the way they played' Pathetic!' cry two students draped in the Tricolour.

Eden Gardens, Club House gate, 8.30 pm (South Africa cruising)

Is it Cape Town or Calcutta' With the South Africans beating India with ridiculous ease, the number of people leaving the stadium grows steadily. Most are cheering Smith and Sourav, and jeering Dravid and Chappell.

The slogans: 'Ek do teen chaar, Sourav ke saath mat karo atyachar' Chappell hai, hai, Dravid hai hai'

The sentiments: 'They were far better; the Indian batting was a joke.'

Esplanade Metro station, 10.15 pm

Sorry, no special late-night trains, as promised. Official reason: the crowds were too thin.

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