Chennai, India (Reuters) – The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) began with an upset after Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore stunned defending champions Mumbai Indians by two wickets at Chennai’s M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Friday.
Harshal Patel claimed 5-27 in the contest between the tournament’s perennial underachiever Bangalore and its most successful team Mumbai who managed a modest 159-9 after being put into bat.
Patel then sealed the nervy contest for Bangalore by taking a single off the last ball following AB de Villiers’ (48) dismissal in the final over.
Earlier, Chris Lynn’s quickfire 49 and Suryakumar Yadav’s breezy 31 had set up a perfect stage for Mumbai to launch a late assault.
Patel claimed three wickets in four balls and eventually registered the first five-wicket haul against Mumbai to restrict the champions to a below-par total.
Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli came out to open, a role the India captain wants to reprise in the T20 World Cup later this year, and made a fluent 33.
Glenn Maxwell contributed 39 but it was de Villiers’ whirlwind knock that put Bangalore on the verge of victory.
“There’s a reason why Mumbai have won this trophy five times, there’s a lot of aura around them,” de Villiers said of the opponents.
“But that was the challenge, to beat the champions and get a lot of confidence. We did well tonight.”
The COVID-19 pandemic had forced the previous edition of the league to be staged in the United Arab Emirates where Mumbai Indians won their second successive title.
The league returned to India but a second wave of infection in the country ensured this year’s tournament would be played across six venues, initially without spectators.