After 697 days, the Indian Premier League has finally returned to India.
The opening encounter saw the current Indian skipper-led Royal Challengers Bangalore take on the Indian vice captain-led defending champions, Mumbai Indians. Both teams not known to have great starts to their IPL campaigns, were up against each other at a neutral venue, Chennai ( as there is no Home Advantage to any team this year).
The defending champions were the favorites at the start of the day, but a series of unusual events unfolded, starting with Virat winning the toss. There were quite a few debuts in the season opener. Rajat Patidar and Kyle Jamieson from RCB and Marco Jansen from MI, all made their IPL debuts yesterday.
Having won the toss, the skipper strategically decided to field first. Mumbai got off to a decent start, losing only Rohit Sharma in the first 10 overs, via an unfortunate run out. The champs looked comfortable to cruise to a 180+ score at this stage but Jamieson and Harshal Patel had other plans. From 86-1 at the halfway mark to 159-9 at the innings break, MI had a well-orchestrated collapse.
With a subpar target to chase, RCB surprised the audience by sending Sundar to open the innings with Kohli. The strategy backfired for RCB as Washy found it hard to get going under this new environment. Sending debutant Rajat at number 3 didn’t help RCB’s cause either as he got out for 8 runs with a strike rate of 100. Then entered Glenn Maxwell, and boy did he impress. The partnership between Maxwell and Kohli finally set a good platform for the chase. To the woe of RCB fans, Kohli fell victim to Bumrah yet again in the IPL, followed by a quick flurry of wickets.
The match went down to the wire with 7 needed off the last over and a determined AB de Villiers on strike. Having 3 needed off 3, Devilliers took a risky second run and to his dismay lost his wicket. With 2 needed off 2, RCB somehow managed to finally get across the line.
This meant that MI’s tradition of losing IPL openers since 2013 continued.
Harshal Patel, the first player to get 5 wickets against MI, was awarded the Man of The Match award for his brilliant bowling figures of 5/27 in his 4 overs.
Next up we have a brilliant matchup in the Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings and the Pant-led Delhi Capitals. Pant who always looked up to MS Dhoni as an idol is sure to be on his A-game for this encounter.
Feature Image: India TV News