Indian Premier League started with a bang as the very first match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and defending champions Mumbai Indians went down the wire. RCB was in need of 1 run from a ball, and they scored that and ended the 5 matches losing streak at Chennai.
Earlier, on quite slow track of M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Virat won the toss after few failures at toss during international fixtures and decided to bowl first. MI scored 159 for the loss of 9 wickets in stipulated 20 overs which was a tricky score to defend as well as the chase. This ultimately proved to be right as the match went till the last ball and RCB ended up on the winning side by 2 wickets.
These are the five top players from this match.
This opener had spent the entire IPL 2020 as a benchwarmer and finally after the entire one season got the chance in the absence of Quinton De Kock who is in quarantine. Lynn’s innings were not up to the standards which are set by himself as far as the strike rate was concerned. He scored 49(35) with a strike rate of 140. Initially, he couldn’t cope up with the pitch but after seeing some balls he smashed 3 sixes and 4 boundaries.
Surya has carried the touch that he had got in Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi back to India as he looked really well and promised a lot for this season already in the first game. He timed and placed every ball perfectly and scored a beautiful 31 runs from 23 balls with 4 fours and 1 maximum. He fell prey to a rising ball from Jamieson which he tried to place to the third man for a single. But he couldn’t do that as the ball took the edge and went straight to wicketkeeper AB de Villiers.
‘Big Show’ came to party tonight as he along with Captain Kohli built the platform of this victory with a partnership of 52 from 28 deliveries. It was a typical Maxwell innings with sweeps and reverse sweeps going for boundaries. He is famous for his big sixes. Though no one had expected him to hit the ball for exactly 100 meters, which he did on the bowling Krunal Pandya. The Ball bounced on the roof and went out of the ground. Glenn scored 39 from 28 with 3 fours and 2 biggies.
AB de Villiers
ABD had played zero cricket from the last IPL up to this. But no one can keep him quite whatever might be the circumstances. It is quite unreal to think of the innings he has played in this game considering the lack of match practice he has for 5 months. He came in and started to play the way he plays. Sumptuous shots, piercing gaps even on good balls, quick singles, and of course full dedication, that’s the way ABD plays. 48 runs from 2 balls, 4 boundaries, 2 sixes with a strike rate of 177.78. Though he ran himself out on fourth the ball of 20th overs, he already had done his work.
The Haryana boy has been performing well in IPL since his debut but the one thing that was missing was the impact performance. He used the pitch conditions very cleverly and picked his 1st five-wicket haul in the T-20 career. Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, and Kieron Pollard, were his 4 wickets out of 5. If he wouldn’t have picked these batsmen, the score might have reached 180 odd. So this was the match-winning effort from Harshal, and not to forget the one run he scored on the last ball to seal the match. Of course, he has been awarded as Man of the Match.
The first match of 2021 IPL and the last ball finish, couldn’t have asked more. MI continued their tradition of losing the first match. RCB won by 2 wickets.