Harshal Patel's fifer, AB de Villiers' heroics leave Mumbai with a lot to introspect

Brief scores: RCB 160/8 (AB de Villiers 48, Bumrah 2-26) beat Mumbai Indians 159/9 (Lynn 49, Patel 5-27) by two wickets.


The opening game of the 14th edition of IPL couldn’t have been any better. Needing one run off the final ball of the match, RCB’s new hero Harshal Patel hit the winning runs to win the game for his side by two wickets on Friday.


Having set a below-par 160-run target, Mumbai Indians did extremely well to take the game till the last ball of the match. However, the Red Army eventually reached home as they took their first points in the tournament.


Here’s a look at three major talking points of Match 1 between RCB and MI:

1. Harshal Patel’s five-wicket haul (5/27)


Bringing in Harshal Patel in place of Navdeep Singh raised a lot of eyebrows before the start of the game. However, very few people had read the pitch better than RCB. Patel proved out to be a goldmine for his side. Given that the pitch stayed slow and low, the Indian fast bowler used cutters to great effect and also bowled wonderful yorkers to rip apart MI’s batting unit.

Patel went for 15 runs in his first over as MI reached 70 for 1 after 8 overs. He wasn’t brought back until the 15th over. Mumbai Indians, at that stage, were sitting pretty at 128 for 3 and were looking to add at least 50 runs more in the last five. He bowled the 16th over and what followed was an MI collapse. He got the important breakthrough by dismissing Hardik Pandya in the 16th over.

In his third over, he claimed the wicket of a set batsman in Ishan Kishan. His last three wickets came in the form of Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya and Marco Jansen in the final over. As a result, Mumbai Indians could only manage to score 31 runs in the last five overs. Patel’s last three overs proved decisive in changing the game in favour of RCB.

2. AB de Villiers’ off with a bang!


After Harshal Patel exhibited a match-winning performance with the ball, AB de Villiers replicated a similar act with the bat. De Villiers took off from where he left last year. The superman from South Africa, once again, showcased how important he is to RCB.


After Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell fell in quick succession, AB de Villiers was left with a huge task to accomplish with 56 runs needed in the last six overs. All-rounders such as Daniel Christian and Kyle Jamieson too departed early as the equation came down to 34 off 18 balls. AB de Villiers hit a four and a six off Trent Boult in the 18th over. This was followed by two boundaries off Bumrah in the penultimate over as the game turned completely in RCB’s favour in the last couple of overs.

In a bid to take the double, he, however, ran himself out on the third last delivery of the match. Much to RCB’s respite, Harshal Patel finished the game for the side on the final ball. AB de Villiers scored 48 runs off just 27 balls, including 4 fours and 2 sixes.


3. Maxwell’s ideal start to IPL 2021


Maxwell didn’t hit a single six last year for Kings XI Punjab. There were doubts on whether he would deliver goods this year for a new franchise in RCB. Well, the Australian batsman has certainly started pretty well.


Coming in at number four, Maxwell played a reverse sweep for four to make his intentions clear on how he will play in the ongoing tournament. He hit 3 fours and 2 sixes en- route to his 28-ball 39. This knock would certainly give confidence to him as well as the team management.


Here’s a look at all the records which were made in the opening game between RCB and MI:


1. After claiming 5 wickets for 27 runs in 4 overs, Harshal Patel became the first bowler to take a five-wicket haul against Mumbai Indians.


2. With the 2-wicket defeat, Mumbai Indians have continued their losing streak in the IPL openers. They last won an IPL opener against CSK back in 2012.


3. Skipper Virat Kohli, on Friday, completed 6000 runs as captain in T20 format. He becomes the first cricketer to reach the feat. He scored 33 runs off 29 balls in the match.


4. Virat Kohi now has scored the most runs (2753) while chasing, surpassing Robin Uthappa (2724) in the list.


5. Harshal Patel has now become the third bowler to take a five-wicket haul for RCB in IPL.

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