Indian pacer Harshal Patel proved to be Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) most effective bowler in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 opener against defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI), on Friday (April 9) in Chennai.
After struggling initially to put a leash on run-scoring, Patel made a terrific comeback with the ball and ended with stellar figures of 5 for 27 off his four overs against a usually rampaging Mumbai Indians (MI) batting line-up.
Harshal Patel’s impressive performance, especially in the death-overs, helped RCB restrict the power-packed MI side to just 159/9 in the first half of the innings.
Harshal Patel Shines With 5/27 in RCB’s Opening Day Fixture Versus MI
As it happened, after going for 22 runs off his first 11 balls on the night, Patel pinned LBW MI’s two most threatening batsmen — Hardik Pandya and Ishan Kishan. While Hardik was done in by a slow off-cutter which he tried to flick through the mid-wicket region, Kishan got out to a near-perfect yorker that he looked to play a sweep off.
Harshal Patel then got the prized scalps of Krunal Pandya and Kieron Pollard off balls that they miscued trying to swing hard. Both the aggressive batters were caught near the ropes. Krunal failed to time his pull shot, whereas Pollard completely lost control of the willow on another fine off-cutter from Patel.
Patel completed his five-fer in spectacular fashion by nailing a yorker which MI’s lower-order batsman Marco Jansen missed and was out bowled.
The dismissal of Jansen completed Harshal Patel’s successful return to the RCB colours after three seasons with Delhi Capitals (DC). The Virat Kohli led side got their right-arm quick back following a trade with DC ahead of IPL 2021.
Patel has featured in 49 matches in his overall IPL career with 51 wickets at an economy rate of 8.69. As and when required, the 30-year-old from Haryana can also provide RCB useful lower-order runs as he carries an IPL strike-rate of 137.63 with the bat.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) next play 2016 champions Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Chennai on April 14.