The inaugural game of the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) 14th edition began on that very frenetic note it’s become popular for, going all the way to the wire and concluding on the final ball. The defending champions eventually lost by two wickets.
It was a two-paced wicket that awaited both teams at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Much in contrast to the curator’s forecast, where he had talked of having used black soil instead of red that would not give spinners the traditional support, MI struggled against quality mediumpace – especially Harshal Patel’s fivewicket haul and Mohammed Siraj’s wicketless but economical spell – before limping to 159-9 in 20 overs.
So was the case when the Royal Challengers batted, with Marco Jansen and Jasprit Bumrah bowling tight lengths to keep Virat Kohli’s team in check.
M.O.O.D after winning the #VIVOIPL season opener 😁😁@Vivo_India #MIvRCB https://t.co/rjzy5OMBt8
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However, it was the brilliant AB de Villiers’ 27-ball 48 that kept Bangalore in the chase. Piling on after Virat Kohli’s 33 and Glenn Maxwell’s 39 had set the tone, ABD stayed almost until the end before Patel had to finish the proceedings.
Harshal Patel Press Conference | MI v RCBMan of the Match for RCB, @HarshalPatel23 gives us insights into his bow… https://t.co/857jhhb3ZZ
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The freeing of arms was still work-inprogress for the very strong MI batting line-up after RCB won the toss and elected to field. Kohli used a total of seven bowlers but dropped catches, poor fielding and some surprising decisions during the powerplay allowed Mumbai to get past the 150-run mark.The decision to pursue with Yuzvendra Chahal instead of Washington Sundar during the powerplay appeared to be one such erroneous move in the early half of play.
Could not have asked for a more gripping way to start #IPL2021. 🤩We move. 💪🏻#PlayBold #WeAreChallengers #MIvRCB… https://t.co/27L67SA2oF
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Batting first, Rohit Sharma opened MI’s innings with Chris Lynn. The Australia cricketer found himself part of the playing eleven after South African wicket-keeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, having arrived from his native country was unavailable as he had to undergo quarantine.
WE HAVE NO WORDS. 🤯🙏🏻#PlayBold #WeAreChallengers #MIvRCB #DareToDream https://t.co/wcWa4DfYUi
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Sundar, who is clearly proving himself to be invaluable, took a great catch running backward to send Lynn back while 30-year-old Patel, who has an impressive ability to bowl away from the right-handers, picked up five for 27 off four overs.
Just ONE run off the last over. Fifer and an economy of 6️⃣.8️⃣. You’re a 🌟, Harshal! 👏🏻 👏🏻 #PlayBold… https://t.co/ddLGKtCnSn
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His use of the slower deliveries and the swing he got in his last three overs helped him become the first bowler to bag a five-for vs Mumbai Indians. Sharma ran himself out after confusion erupted in the middle between him and Lynn, an opportunity that Kohli made good use of. Lynn carried on though, missing his halfcentury by a run but scoring them at a strike-rate of 140 to set the pace. Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan added another 59 runs between them to help the team get to a par score.