The 1st match of the 14th edition of IPL got underway between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians. The very first match of the season went till the last ball and it was MI yet again who opened their camp on a losing note as RCB won the clash by two wickets. Winning the toss, Virat Kohli invited opponents to show up with willow first and the blue team pasted 159 runs on the board. Chris Lynn (49) and Suryakumar Yadav (31) helped MI to sail their boat forward.
Harshal Patel was declared as the player of the match for his heroics with the ball. It was going very well for MI until Patel wreaked havoc in the last over of the game. He sent back four batsmen in no time while giving away just two runs. It was Patel only who took the last run on the last ball and gifted the opening game to RCB.
ABD shines yet again for RCB
Chasing the target in Chennai, skipper Kohli and Washington Sundar walked as the opening partners. He played an essential cameo of 33 runs and the cherry on the cake came as Glenn Maxwell’s from who added vital 39 runs from his end. However, the majority of work was done by AB de Villiers as he played a terrific knock of 48 runs. Jasprit Bumrah and Marco Jansen picked two wickets each for MI.
Winning skipper, Virat Kohli said
We won the first match last year as well that we played. It was important to play against the strongest side in the competition and test our side. Everyone was involved in this game, and when you win by two wickets, it means that everyone has gone in and played. A lot of options for me as well that helped bringing the game back. The pitch was looking decent in the first half, but to be honest, with the old ball the length ball was difficult to get away. That is why those partnerships between Maxi and me and then between AB and Maxi was really important. It’s not a pitch where you can just hit through the line. You have to be smart with picking the gaps and running hard. Playing in Chennai you have to be respectful of that. The shot that Pollard got out to, in Wankhde it would’ve sailed into the crowds. We came back well and used the conditions well. They came back well too after losing Rohit early and those last six overs for us were probably the best six we’ve ever had. We brought Harshal in a trade from Delhi. He is relishing the responsibility and is clear with his plans. He was the difference today. He is going to be our death bowler. As a captain you want players with clarity, and he has that. Jamieson started off well, Yuzi was good, Siraj was good too. In T20 cricket, clarity at the top of your mark is all you as for as a captain. Harshal was very clear with that and it was his day today. We wanted Maxi to bat at four. Rajat is a very solid players. He is an exciting player, plays spin well too. The thinking was that we wanted to give Maxi some balls at the start and not get him slogging rightaway. You saw the result today of him playing 10-15 balls. His innings was the game-changer. Had he stayed in we would’ve finished a couple of overs earlier. The opposition then gets nervous about AB. We have depth in the batting which we want to utilize.
Losing skipper, Rohit Sharma said
That’s the most important thing I guess (to win tournaments). Not the first game. I thought it was a great effort.. great fight till the end. I thought we were 20 runs short with the kind of start we got. We made some mistakes in the first game, bound to happen. He’s (Jansen) a talent we have identified to bowl in any situation. We wanted to get wickets when AB and Christian were batting, which is why we went with Bumrah and Boult, unfortunately it didn’t work. Definitely not an easy pitch to bat on. We need to identify the situations and get variations. AB was brilliant and got them home. In hindsight you can say it takes time to get intensity. But there are fresh faces. Lot of players were playing international cricket and we have not had time to get to know each other very well. It can be difficult for teams who have great home record but that’s the challenge of the sport (about playing in neutral venues). But we are fortunate enough to be able to be on the park and put some smiles on the faces of people in India. The country is going through tough times. Give them something to look forward to.
Player of the match, Harshal Patel said
Absolutely happy to be back. When they traded me they told me my role was going to be bowling in the death and that is something that I have worked on for a couple of years. Happy to be here and with the faith they have shown in me. I was just focussed on my execution and the most important thing was to make use of my momentum. It is my first fifer in 98 T20s and the fact that it has come against MI makes it all the more special. I have worked a lot on my yorker. I was always good at the length balls ans slower balls. I wanted to be a bowler who takes on responsibility and that’s what I have been working on for the last few years.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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