A record five-wicket haul from Harshal Patel and an incredible knock from AB de Villiers helped Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Mumbai Indians in a thrilling IPL 2021 opener at MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai.
After Harshal Patel’s five-wicket haul (5/27) helped Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) restrict Mumbai Indians (MI) to 159/9, AB de Villiers made 48 off 27 in tough batting conditions to see them home.
RCB’s chase did not get off to the brightest of starts as Washington Sundar struggled for 10 off 16 before getting out to Krunal Pandya. Washington had opened in the absence of Devdutt Padikkal but the move didn’t work.
Rajat Patidar walked in at No. 3 and showed some brief promise before chopping on a knuckle ball from Trent Boult. Despite the twin wickets, RCB got 46 for 2 in the Power Play as Virat Kohli had begun well. Glenn Maxwell came ahead of AB de Villiers at No. 4 and began with a bang, taking on the spinners, particularly Rahul Chahar. The switch hits were on display, and a straight six off Krunal Pandya went for a 100 metre six over long on and outside the stadium.
Kohli slowed down in the middle overs as Krunal completed a spell of 1 for 25, but the partnership with Maxwell was threatening. MI were desperate for a wicket and they turned to their strike bowler, Jasprit Bumrah.
He didn’t disappoint, trapping Kohli lbw for 33 off 29 in the 13th over. A couple of overs later, Glenn Maxwell pulled a short ball from Marco Jansen to short fine leg. In the same over, Shahbaz Ahmed holed out to the deep as MI nosed ahead.
However, RCB had someone called AB de Villiers, who looked in terrific touch despite having last played in IPL 2020. He took Rahul Chahar to the cleaners in a 15-run 16th over. Bumrah then got Dan Christian in the next over, but de Villiers smacked Trent Boult in the 18th over which cost 15 runs. From 19 off 12, even Bumrah couldn’t help MI. He went for 12 in the penultimate over bringing it to 7 off 6.
AB de Villiers was run out in the last over, and it came to 1 off 1, but Harshal Patel deservedly held his nerve and got the single.
Earlier, after MI looked set for a big total halfway through the innings, cruising to 86/1 in 10 overs, RCB pulled back by getting rid of Suryakumar Yadav (31 off 23 balls) and Chris Lynn (49 off 35 balls) in quick succession.
Patel, the right-arm pacer who plays for Haryana in domestic cricket, ran through the middle-order. He got rid of dangerous hitters Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya besides tail-ender Marco Jansen to put the brakes on a strong MI batting line-up.
Yadav looked set for a big score but RCB’s new recruit Kyle Jamieson got him edging to wicket-keeper AB de Villiers off a ball that bounced a bit.
Lynn was out caught and bowled by Washington Sundar as he looked to go for a big hit but instead lobbed it up high in the air.
That was the third wicket down at 105 in 12.5 overs. There were still 43 balls left and MI had their power-hitters in the dugout. However, Harshal Patel got into the act and ran through the middle and lower order.
He deceived Hardik Pandya with a slow full toss, got Ishan Kishan with a yorker, had Krunal Pandya caught at deep mid-wicket and then also had Kieron Pollard caught in the deep. He then bowled IPL debutant South African Marco Jansen to complete a fifer.
(With IANS inputs)