Amid the ongoing battle for curbing the second wave of the COVID-19 menace, India is in for a bigger party. IPL 2021 is here for people to settle down at their homes and spend their time with full of entertainment for the next 2 months. Chennai has hosted the inaugural match between the Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 9.
Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper who couldn't win many tosses in the recent past, had won the toss this time as the skipper of the RCB and decided to bowl first. Two very strong teams were all prepared to clash in a fierce battle and set the tone. When the stage was set at Chepauk, no one could have imagined that the season would have a thriller opener.
Rohit Sharma got run out early but the Mumbai Indians had a very good start with Chris Lynn and Suryakumar Yadav putting up a 70 run partnership. Chahal, the star bowler for the RCB went for too many runs this time while Kyle Jamieson was economical. After Lynn and Suryakumar Yadav, no other batsman in the Mumbai Indians line-up could make any impact as they were losing their wickets back to back.
Ishan Kishan managed to score 28 while the Pandya brothers and Pollard fell soon. When the Mumbai Indians tried to accelerate a bit, RCB's Harshal Patel came in as a huge surprise, picked up 3 wickets in the last over for just one run. The Mumbai Indians could make only 159 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in their 20 overs.
160 is not a huge target for a team like RCB and they were at their target right from the beginning. Washington Sundar and Rajat Patidar went back to the pavilion early and Virat Kohli took control of the chase along with Maxwell. Kohli played mature innings while Maxwell, the new entrant to the RCB squad smashed it to all parts of the ground, displaying that he is a worth pick.
The match was well poised towards the RCB and when Kohli got out for 33, the contest became even. Maxwell fell soon afterwards and Mumbai Indians were back into the game. How could you predict the result when there is a superman called AB De Villiers in the RCB camp? He smashed the ball to the nooks and corners and was the savior for his team yet again scoring 48 runs. His run out in the last over took the game much closer but RCB won it in the last ball, by 2 wickets to register a positive start to the series.
The positive start was made possible by unpredictable AB de Villiers and resplendent Harshal Patel, who delivered an outstanding show in the ball and recorded a five-wicket haul, including a prospect for a hat-trick wicket, in the very first match of the season. Patel was named as the player of the match. In the post-presentation interview, winning captain Virat Kohli said, "We won the first match last year as well that we played. It was important to play against the strongest side in the competition and test our side. Everyone was involved in this game, and when you win by two wickets, it means that everyone has gone in and played. A lot of options for me as well that helped bringing the game back".
"We came back well and used the conditions well. They came back well too after losing Rohit early and those last six overs for us were probably the best six we have ever had", he added. After bracing up the defeat, Rohit Sharma said, "I thought it was a great effort, great fight till the end. I thought we were 20 runs short with the kind of start we got. We made some mistakes in the first game, bound to happen". He added that winning the tournament is an important thing than winning the first game. "MI has the habit of losing the first game and winning the trophy" the ardent fans say. Will this sentiment become true once again?