On Friday, It was Seamer Harshal Patel who makes the headlines. He bowled smartly, mixed his pace, varied his bounce, and threw yorkers for five wickets for Royal Challengers Bangalore – becoming the first bowler who got fifer against Mumbai Indians in IPL.
The important thing is that he removed MI, big hitters, with clever variations. Still holding MI’s 159 for 9, there is a need to chase something on the slow ground at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in the IPL opener in Chennai. And RCB finally ended the match on the final ball, with Harshal playing the winning short on the last ball with two wickets remaining.
Washington Sundar, who opened the innings earlier, fell quickly. Virat Kohli stroked the rock-solid through the cover. And then the tall Marco Jansen, lifting the new man into the block.
A lot depended on Kohli and Glenn Maxwell. And Maxwell, who met on the track, hit Krunal Pandya for a huge six over wide long-off. And one of Maxwell’s big hit to the leg spinner Rahul Chahal floating at square leg.
Bumrah broke the partnership, as he removed the RCB captain, Kohli got good delivery.
AB de Villiers picked up RCB with extraordinary strokeplay of intense creativity. AB was at his best with his 27-ball 48 runs launched into bowling. Everything depended on South Africa’s star for RCB and his six-hitting skills in rocks and high in time.
It was 7 runs needed off the last over. On the fourth ball, AB chipped for 2 runs when he went for a second run and was short of the crease.
MI was shaken early with Rohit Sharma runs for a single from the non-striker’s end, but Kohli quickly picked the ball and ran out the Mumbai captain’s innings.
The tall Kiwi Kyle Jamieson was impressive with his control, extra bounce, and ability to bowl the slower ball.
Meanwhile, opener Chris Lynn (49) smashed the bowling with his baseball-like swing. The Australian has excellent bat speed and frees the front foot to give himself space to hit the ball. There was no other significant contribution to MI even though RCB dropped the catch.
Surprisingly, Washington overlooked for the first 10 overs, forced a miss-hit from Lynn (49), and held a backward running catch.
Check the Complete Scorecard of the 1st IPL Match RCB vs MI
Harshal Patel, Man of the Match: When he traded me, he told me I was part of the plans and would bowl at the death. It showed me that I was happy to be here to repay the trust. I didn’t know I got five for the first time against Mumbai. Whatever speed I had, I wanted to use it.
These are my first five-98 games, and it’s special to meet against a team like Mumbai. I work a lot on my yorker and get more confidence in bowling at different stages of the game. I was always good with length balls and slow balls.
Virat Kohli had to play against the strongest opponent to test his team’s depth. Everyone got involved, everyone had to play. Lots of options in Kitty that helped bring the game back. To be honest, the pitch looked good in the first half. This is an area where you can cross the line unless the situation demands it.
Harshal enjoys this role. He’s going to be our designated dead bowler. He is very confident about what he wants to bring to the table, and as captain, you want someone with that clarity. That’s what you ask the bowler in T20 cricket. And the wickets they were given were not wickets. He really wanted people to hit the ball where he grabbed it.
AB de Villiers was an incredible game of cricket, and it always seems to be against Mumbai. We clearly found out it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew halfway through that it would be tough; it’s one of those pitches that gets tough as the game progresses. They have a wonderful bowling line that puts us under pressure.
One of the reasons Mumbai has won this trophy five times is that there is a lot of aura around them. But that was the challenge, beating the champions and gaining a lot of confidence. We did a good job tonight.
Rohit Sharma: Winning the championship is important, I think, not the first game. Great fight; we didn’t let it go easy. However, the score was not something we were happy with. We were 20 younger. We’ve made mistakes; they’re definitely going to happen.
We didn’t have much time together as a group, and it was all opposite each other in Dubai, where we started preparations a month ago. But this is how IPL has been played over the years, and you have to get into the game as soon as possible. It can be tough for teams with great home records, but that’s what the game is, so you have to go away and win. We’re lucky to be in the park.