Rohit Sharma’s Team Mumbai and Virat Kohli-led Team Bangalore played a blinder of a final-ball thriller in the opening match of the 2021 edition of the Indian T20 League as the latter continued their opening game dominance over the record champions, this time beating them by two wickets.
Bangalore had an unlikely hero in Harshal Patel, who became the first bowler in the league’s history to pick a five-fer against Mumbai. His bowling figures of 5/27 was enough to restrict Mumbai to 159/9 in 20 overs.
Bangalore needed a strong start with the bat, but soon after Washington Sundar and Rajat Patidar were dismissed, they found their paladin in form of Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers. After Maxwell had scored a 28-ball 39, AB de Villiers accumulated 48 runs to put Bangalore right on the course to victory. The game looked destined for a Super Over at one point in time, but Harshal Patel got the winning run off the final ball to give his team a desirable start to their new season.
A game as thrilling as this was bound to produce several records and here we look at a few of them:
The supremacy of Harshal Patel
While the 30-year-old pacer is now the only bowler to pick a five-fer against Mumbai, he is also only the third bowler to pick five wickets in Indian T20 League for Team Bangalore, with Anil Kumble and Jaydev Unadkat being the others.
Furthermore, he is now the third uncapped Indian player to pick five wickets in the league after Ankit Rajpoot (5/14 vs Hyderabad in 2018) and Varun Chakravarthy (5/20 vs Delhi in 2020). Patel had a slow start in the match, conceding 22 runs in his first two overs. By the end of his spell though, he completed 50 wickets in the Indian T20 League and it is safe to say he loves playing against Mumbai as 27.45% of his wickets (14) have come against the record champions.
|Top three bowling spells against Mumbai in Indian T20 League|
|Harshal Patel||4||27||5||7.09||Bangalore||Chennai||9 April 2021|
|Rohit Sharma||2||6||4||3||Deccan||Centurion||6 May 2009|
|Samuel Badree||4||9||4||2.25||Bangalore||Bangalore||14 April 2017|
Meanwhile, his return of 5/27 is the second-best bowling figure at Chennai in the Indian T20 League. The list now reads:
- 5/24 by Lakshmipathy Balaji in 2008 vs Punjab
- 5/27 by Harshal Patel in 2021 vs Mumbai
- 4/11 by Ravindra Jadeja in 2015 vs Rajasthan
Bangalore finally win the season opener
While Team Mumbai’s record in the opening games of the Indian T20 League continued to worsen, Banglore finally broke the jinx as this victory was the first occasion that they won a season opener. The team has played a total of four season openers, losing thrice and winning once. This was their third meeting against Mumbai in their season opener, and the team has won all three of them.
|Bangalore in Indian T20 League season opener|
|Team 1||Team 2||Winner||Margin||Venue||Date|
|Bangalore||Kolkata||Kolkata||140 runs||Bangalore||18 April 2008|
|Hyderabad||Bangalore||Hyderabad||35 runs||Hyderabad||5 April 2017|
|Chennai||Bangalore||Chennai||7 wickets||Chennai||23 March 2019|
|Mumbai||Bangalore||Bangalore||2 wickets||Chennai||9 April 2021|
Mumbai, on the other hand, extended their poor track record as this defeat was their ninth consecutive opening game loss in the Indian T20 League. It is safe to say that Chepauk has never been kind to Bangalore. Yesterday’s victory by two runs was Bangalore’s third win in 10 matches at the venue; two of those have come against Mumbai. Meanwhile, upon a closer look at all of their first matches of the previous seasons, Bangalore have carried a win percentage of 64.29%, winning nine of their 14 opening games.
AB de Villiers - ageing like a wine
AB de Villiers was one of the catalysts on the back of which Bangalore managed to beat Mumbai. The South African legend scored 48 runs at a strike rate of 177.77, and his innings included four boundaries and two sixes. His two sixes on the night took him on level with Chennai’s Suresh Raina in the list of players with most sixes against Mumbai. Chris Gayle still tops the list with 42 sixes against Mumbai while both Raina and de Villiers have 35 sixes against the champions.
|Most 6s vs Mumbai in Indian T20 League|
|AB de Villiers||24||774||35|
The 37-year-old has now scored 774 runs against Mumbai; a figure which is only better by Raina (818) in the Indian T20 League. De Villiers had no difficulties in taking on bowlers and scored 33.33% of his runs against Rahul Chahar. The only player he found difficult to play was Marco Jansen; a bowler who conceded just three runs off five balls against the hard-hitting batsman.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @IPL