RCB beat Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021 opener

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Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) kicked off their VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 campaign with a two-wicket win against the Mumbai Indians (MI) on Friday at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Harshal Patel starred with the ball, picking up a five-wicket haul, and AB de Villiers provided the finishing touch, giving RCB their first win of the season.

Chris Lynn along with the six-foot-eight-inch left-arm Proteas seamer, Marco Jansen made their respective debuts for MI.

Chasing a total of 160, Washington Sundar, who opened the batting for the first time in the IPL was dropped off Boult on the second ball of the innings. The RCB skipper Virat Kohli at the other end got off the mark with a leading edge that raced away to the boundary.

RCB openers started confidently, tackling the pace of Boult and Bumrah, and subsequently attacking the young left-arm pacer, Jansen.

Krunal Pandya provided the early breakthrough for MI, dismissing Sundar in the fifth over. Rajat Patidar, who walked in next, hit a boundary before he was knocked over by a beauty from Boult, giving MI their second wicket.

Maxwell joined skipper Kohli in the middle with RCB trying to rebuild after two wickets falling inside the powerplay.

Rahul Chahar was introduced into the attack and Glenn Maxwell took the leg-spinner on, perfectly executing his trademark switch hit and later played a lofted drive inside out, producing the same result.

At the halfway stage, RCB were 75-2 with both Maxwell and Kohli looking settled. In the eleventh over, Maxwell tonked Krunal Pandya for a maximum that went deep into the night sky and out of Chepauk.

RCB were cruising, thanks to the Big Show and MI were desperately looking for a breakthrough. Jasprit Bumrah was brought back to the attack and he got the job done for the team, dismissing the RCB skipper in the 13th over.

MI got two timely wickets in quick succession including the wicket of well-settled Maxwell. But AB de Villiers, who was joined by Daniel Christian, got 15 runs off Rahul Chahar, getting RCB closer to the ask, with four overs to go.

Skipper Rohit Sharma handed over the ball to the best in the business – Jasprit Bumrah and he delivered once again, dismissing Daniel Christian and conceding just 5 runs in the 17th over.

AB de Villiers kept RCB’s hopes alive after the right-hander smashed 15 runs off the 18th over bowled by Boult as well as struck two crucial boundaries against Bumrah in the penultimate over.

With three runs required off the last three deliveries, de Villiers ran himself out in an attempt to steal a double but RCB got off the line, winning on the last ball. (IPL)

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