Seamer Harshal Patel’s five-wicket haul (5/27) helped Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) beat Mumbai Indians (MI) by two wickets in a last ball thriller in the opening match of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) season at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Friday.
Patel ran through MI’s middle and lower order to restrict them to 159/9 after they were cruising at 86/1 midway through their innings.
RCB were then powered by a 27-ball 48 from AB de Villiers and a 28-ball 39 from Glenn Maxwell even as they made heavy weather of the chase, winning it off the last ball of the match even though they had been set up well by a 52-run third-wicket stand between skipper Virat Kohli (33 off 29) and Maxwell.
Earlier, after MI looked set for a big total halfway through their innings, RCB pulled back by getting rid of Suryakumar Yadav (31 off 23) and Chris Lynn (49 off 35) in quick succession.
Patel, the right-arm pacer who plays for Haryana in domestic cricket, then ran through the middle-order. He got rid of dangerous hitters Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya, besides dismissing tail-ender Marco Jansen to put the brakes on a strong MI batting line-up.
MI batsman Yadav looked set for a big score, but RCB’s new recruit Kyle Jamieson forced an edge off his bat that was neatly collected by de Villiers behind the stumps.
Washington Sundar then caught Lynn off his own bowling, as he looked to go for a big hit but instead lobbed it high in the air, as MI slid to 105/3 in 12.5 overs. There were still 43 balls left and MI had their power-hitters in the dugout. However, 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.
RCB got off to a flier — scoring 36 runs in just four overs — before two quick wickets of opener Washington Sundar and newcomer Rajat Patidar pegged them back.
Kohli and Maxwell then took their team to safety but four wickets for 24 runs in the space of four overs saw them struggling at 122/6 in the 17th over. De Villiers then went after the bowling to take them close before he was run out. MI sensed a chance but with just two needed off two balls, they had left it too late.
Brief scores: Mumbai Indians 159/9 in 20 overs (C Lynn 49, S Yadav 31, I Kishan 28, H Patel 5/27) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore 160/8 in 20 overs (AB de Villiers 48, G Maxwell 39, V Kohli 33, J Bumrah 2/26, M Jansen 2/28).