MI- 159/9 (20 over)
Chris Lynn- 49(35)
Jasprit Bumrah- 4-0-26-2
RCB- 160/8 (20 over)
AB de Villiers- 48(27)
Harshal Patel- 4-0-27-5
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) started their VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 campaign with a 2-wicket win against the Mumbai Indians (MI) on Friday at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
Man of the Match:
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.—Harshal Patel, Man of the Match
Upstox Most Valuable Asset of the Match: Harshal Patel
Unacademy Lets Crack It Sixes of the Match award: Chris Lynn
CRED Power Player of the Match: Virat Kohli
Safari Super Striker of the Match: Ab de Villiers
Dream11 GameChanger of the Match: Harshal Patel
VIVO Perfect Catch of the Match: Washington Sundar
Was an incredible game of cricket. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, we knew it wasn’t an easy pitch to play on and it’s one of those wickets that gets harder as the game goes on and we knew if we could take it to the end we could take a chance. It was a good throw (about his run-out) and Krunal was spot-on. Absolute pleasure playing alongside him (Maxwell). I love playing with players like that and he just wants to win cricket games. And also there’s Dan Christian. It’s a nice combination to have. There’s a reason why they’ve won the trophy five times but that was the challenge for us tonight. We did well and we won the first game against them last year as well.AB De Villiers
STAT: First time RCB have won a season opener they have been involved in. They lost in 2008, 2017 & 2019.
STAT: MI lose their first match of IPL since last 9 years. L,L,L,L,L,L,L,L,L
Winning Captain, Virat Kohli (RCB):
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 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. AB is probably the only one in the team who is so versatile. And he does it on slow wickets what not many can do. In a tricky chase you need experience at the back, and the opposition knows that if he doesn’t get out, the bowlers get in a different headspace.
Losing Captain, Rohit Sharma (MI):
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.