Harshal Patel becomes first bowler to claim 5-fer vs MI. Photo credits: IPL  |  Photo Credit: Twitter
The Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians (MI) is the most successful IPL franchise with five titles. They came into the IPL 2021 season opener with a lot of confidence on their side, facing Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai on Friday evening (April 9).
While MI have often been the side to wreak havoc on the opposition line-up with consistent wickets and dominate any side's bowling department with ease, the five-time winners weren't able to start off nicely in IPL 14's opening fixture after being asked to bat first by Kohli & Co. While RCB have the likes of Mohammed Siraj, Kyle Jamieson, Dan Christian, Yuzvendra Chahal, etc. MI were stunned by all-rounder Harshal Patel who returned with 5 for 26 to restrict them for 159/9.
MI were in a comfortable position at 105-2 but could only manage 24 runs in the last four overs as Harshal's deadly bowling pushed them on the back foot. Harshal accounted for the wickets of Ishan Kishan, Hardik, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Marco Jansen to become only the third RCB bowler to attain a five-fer in IPL. In addition, he became the first-ever bowler to take a five-wicket haul versus the defending champions in IPL history.
After his spell, Harshal -- who used to represent the Delhi Capitals (DC) in IPL 2020 -- told the broadcasters, "Ball started tailing a bit when I came into bowl the 16th over, that was my cue. And I executed brilliantly. You can't look at the opposition all the time. All you need to focus on at the top of your mark is your execution and planning and that's what I did. It was very clear from the beginning I was going to bowl two overs at the death but today I bowled three. Feels great. This is my first five-wicket haul in all the T20s I've played. Coming against MI it feels special. It's a decent batting surface. Just the dimensions allow you to take pace off. Also the bounce isn't as good as it usually is. It's probably keeping low. But I don't think it's a two paced wicket"
RCB will be eager to chase down the modest total and get off to a winning start in IPL 14 edition. Their last face-off versus MI at the venue saw them lose the Champions League (CLT20) 2011 final.