AB de Villiers rolled on with his beautiful yet brutal comeback on Friday as Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated defending champions Mumbai Indians by two wickets in the Indian Premier League opener at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Friday. After RCB fell 5 wickets at 106, de Villiers was dismissed for 48 runs in 27 balls. Harshal Patel fulfilled his dream by scoring one run off the last ball to achieve the target of 160 runs in 20 overs. Harshal of Haryana, an eternal peripheral presence in the IPL, finally had his night under the lights with a 27-of-5, which helped RCB to restrict MI to 159 for nine.
MI again lost the first match as it is a tradition in the IPL but they lost it to de Villiers, who attacked the two MI spinners Rahul Chahar (0/43) and Krunal Pandya (1) and changed the script in two overs. 25). His attack prompted Rohit Sharma to end his best bowler Jasprit Bumrah's spell (2/26 in 4 overs) before the final over, which required seven runs.
RCB were in control when Glenn Maxwell (39 runs off 28 balls) came in and the leg-spinner Chahar's line malfunctioned with a reverse-pull boundary. He hit a six off the same bowler and hit another four off long on to Krunal Pandya.
Skipper Virat Kohli (33 off 29 balls), who caught an experienced Marco Johnson in his first over, looked a bit fine as the innings progressed. However, Maxwell's attack meant that Kohli could take his time. It was MI's strike bowler Bumrah, who came in for his second spell in the back-10 and removed the Indian captain with an Angel delivery.
If that wasn't enough, a 6-foot-8-inch youngster, Jensen, made a small bang, ending Maxwell's potentially dangerous innings as the ‘Big Show', once again promising much but giving little.
After Johnson removed Shahbaz Ahmed, de Villiers announced Chahar coming with sixes and fours. Earlier, Harshal produced a death at the masterclass, which put Mi Kul under scrutiny. He took three wickets for one run in his final over and also became the first bowler to take five wickets for Mumbai Indians.
Opener Chris Lynn (49 off 35 balls) partially made amends for his part in a terrific mix-up, which led to skipper Rohit Sharma (19 off 15 balls) scoring seven for seven off Suryakumar's second ball. The runs were run out by adding runs. Yadav (31 off 23 balls). That stand was the platform that MI needed to fire during the back-end.
Refreshed by his feats for India, Ishaan Kishan scored 28 off 19 balls but Harshal took a few wickets in the final over to prevent MI from causing major damage. On the Chepauk track where a good score is anything in the region of 150 was definitely equal to the total course. Kyle Jamieson (1/27 off 4 overs) made a brilliant start to the IPL with his disappointing bounce, but veteran Yuzvendra Chahal (0/41 in 4 overs) lost his bearings for some time.
But Harshal, Chahal's Haryana teammate, bowled some accurate wicket-to-wicket in the 18th and 20th overs. Looking volatile during the first few overs, Lynn bowled Chahal for a six on long on and left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed hit another four to regain his rhythm.
This was when they called Rohit for a non-existent single and then sent him back, only to find the yardage at least yards of their ground. At the other end, Suryakumar (31 off 31 balls) gave up against England, from where he left Jamaison for a four, he covered Chahal from the backfoot and then another four to Dan Christian. The slow-looking pitch fell out of the equation during the first four overs as runs came in a fair clip.
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