By Shrey Siddharth
The Indian Premier League, 2021 gets the best of openings as the defending champions Mumbai Indians took on Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chepauk. RCB won the toss and chose to bowl on a slow track. RCB had a formidable team led by Kohli along with Sundar, de Villiers, Maxwell in the top order, followed by Patidar, Sundar, Christian, the debutante Jamieson, Shabaz, Harshal and Chahal. MI had a strong lineup of Rohit, Lynn, Surya, Kishan, Pollard, Hardik, Krunal, debutante Jansen, Bumrah, Boult and Chahar. Here are the highlights from the opening game:-
Chris Lynn controlled the Mumbai innings after Rohit Sharma got run-out early on. He started slow but took on the RCB spinners once he got set. He smashed 3 sixes as he built crucial partnerships with Kishan and Surya. She got unfortunately out for 49 after a beautiful caught and bowled by Sundar.
Darkhorse Harshal delivers:-
Virat Kohli showed trust in Harshal Patel and Harshal didn’t disappoint as he had possibly the best bowling performance by an uncapped player. Harshal choked the MI batsmen in the middle overs and knocked the well set Kishan and Surya for 28 and 31 respectively. In his last over, he produced 3 wickets and a run-out giving away just 1 run, restricting MI to just 159. Harshal finished with 5-27, the first-ever fifer against MI by any bowler and in the opening match of IPL.
A.B. de Villiers looked like a man on a mission, not a grizzled old veteran at all. He played a magnificent inning with his hard-hitting prowess under immense pressure. He capitalized on the good start by Kohli and Maxwell and even if the wickets kept falling at the other end, A.B. did exactly what he used to do in his prime. He got run-out for 48 in the last over.
After a thrilling contest that went down the wire, RCB won the match by 2 wickets. Harshal won the man of the match for his terrific bowling. Well, the tournament opener didn’t disappoint and the fans would look forward to many more exciting matches ahead with anticipation.
By Shrey Siddharth