Royal Challengers Bangalore started their IPL campaign in style after snatching a nail-biting finish against the Mumbai Indians on Friday. Last year when both the sides had met was a high-scoring affair that ended in a tie. But this time around RCB showed nerves and registered a comprehensive win in the final ball.
It was an all-around effort from Virat Kohli and his men in the opening game at the Wankhede Stadium. With a change in fortune, Virat Kohli had won the toss and he decided to bowl first.
RCB picked New Zealand’s lanky pacer Kyle Jamieson into the squad who in turn was making his debut in the IPL. During Mumbai Indian’s batting, the RCB bowlers dealt in dot balls in what turned out to be a miserly spell in the batting powerplay.
Harshal Patel was the best performer among the bowlers as he registered his first-ever five-wicket haul in the IPL after finishing at 5/27 in four overs. He was incredible on the field because after conceding 15 runs in the first over, he bounced back and took five wickets by just conceding 12 runs in his next three overs.
Coming to Mumbai Indians, skipper Rohit Sharma got out on just 19 runs before getting run-out in the fourth over.
Only Chris Lynn managed to spend more time on the field and score runs as he scored 49 runs off 35 balls, the highest among MI batsmen. During his knock, he displayed some excellent class of shots consisting of four boundaries and three sixes.
Mumbai Indians put an excruciating effort after receiving back to back jolt due by Harshal Patel and reached a total of 159/9 in 20 overs.
It was an achievable target for the RCB as skipper Virat Kohli and Washington Sundar opened the batting in the chase. While Kohli looked dangerous from one end, Sundar barely managed to middle the ball and eventually gave away his wicket to Krunal Pandya.
Glenn Maxwell and Virat Kohli led the cruise for the RCB by combining a partnership of 52 runs and until that point it seemed an easy victory for them.
Kohli unfortunately got out LBW off Jasprit Bumrah’s delivery, thereby making way for AB de Villiers on the crease. In an expected and yet an obvious manner, de Villiers took the stride by scoring 48 runs comprising of four boundaries and a couple of sixes.
Harshal Patel hit the winning run for the RCB as they removed the tag of chokers this time despite de Villiers’ dramatic run out in the final over almost giving the fans a jumpy feeling.
On the other hand, Mumbai Indians continued their unfortunate stroke of luck as they failed to win the first match of IPL even this year. They haven’t won their first match of an IPL season since 2013.
With this win Royal Challengers Bangalore now prepares to face Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 14, while Mumbai Indians will face Kolkata Knight Riders on April 13.