A firm 52-run stand between skipper Virat Kohli and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell followed by AB de Villers’ late flourish steered Royal Challengers Bangalore past the finishing line as they registered a two-wicket win over defending champions Mumbai Indians in the season-opener on Friday.
Chasing a 159-run total, the Bangalore-based outfit had to deal with early blows as they lost newly-promoted opener Washington Sundar in the powerplay. A failed opening gamble followed the early departure of Rajat Patidar (8), who came in at No.3 as skipper Kohli opened the innings with Washington.
Kohli scored a 29-ball 33 while Maxwell gathered 39 off 28 deliveries to keep RCB in the contest. Kohli, who struggled to score boundaries in middle overs, was eventually trapped by Jasprit Bumrah. Maxwell, on the other hand, kept taking chances and hit a couple of switch-hits before handing his wicket to debutant Marco Jansen in the 15th over.
RCB suffered a mini-collapse after Maxwell’s departure as they lost Shahbaz Ahmed (1) and Dan Christian (1) in back-to-back overs. de Villiers, however, rose to the occasion as RCB tried to make a fist of it in the last five overs. The South African batting star ended up scoring 48 off 28 deliveries in an innings laced with 4 fours and 2 sixes.
When RCB needed 7 off the last over bowled by Jansen, de Villiers was run out by Krunal Pandya in an attempt to steal the second run. Harshal Patel, however, sealed the victory for RCB by taking a single off the last delivery.
Earlier, Harshal produced a death over masterclass with a five-wicket haul and restricted MI to 159/9. Harshal picked up 5 for 27 in his four overs and was brilliant at the death as he became the first player to get a five-for against the Mumbai outfit.
After being put to bat first, the Mumbai-based outfit started off slowly and steadily, posting 24 runs in the first four overs before losing skipper Rohit. A mix-up between the MI skipper and partner Chris Lynn led to the former’s dismissal. Rohit was keen for the single, but from halfway down, Lynn sent him back to gift RCB an early breakthrough.
After the captain’s departure, Lynn was joined by Ishan Kishan as the two stitched a fifty stand for the second wicket. The dangerous-looking stand was broken by Washington Sundar, who plucked Lynn after coming into the attack. On a Chepauk track where a good score is anything in the region of 150, the total certainly looked par for the course.
Ishan eventually managed to score 28 from 19 deliveries. When MI looked set for a big total halfway through the innings, cruising to 86/1 in 10 overs, RCB pulled back by getting rid of Suryakumar Yadav (31 off 23 balls) and Chris Lynn (49 off 35 balls) in quick succession.
Mumbai Indians: 159/9 in 20 overs (Chris Lynn 49, Suryakumar Yadav 31; Harshal Patel 5/27).
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 160/8 in 20 overs (AB de Villiers 48, Virat Kohli 33, Glenn Maxwell 39; Marco Jansen 2/28, Jasprit Bumrah 2/26).