Seam-bowling all-rounder Harshal Patel brought his A-game as he used his opportunity to significant effect by grabbing five wickets in the IPL 2021 season opener against Mumbai Indians in Chennai. Harshal Patel was responsible for the defending champions finding themselves at least 20 runs short as his fifer kept them to 158 before the Royal Challengers Bangalore sneaked home in the last ball by two wickets. The 30-year old stated he was unaware that he became the first bowler to take a fifer against Mumbai Indians.
Harshal Patel was one of the two players along with Daniel Sams that Royal Challengers Bangalore traded from the Delhi Capitals ahead of IPL 2021. Patel, who had performed decently for the Capitals, brought his A-game for the Royal Challengers Bangalore by bowling with intensity and the correct lengths on a tricky Chepauk pitch. The right-arm seamer dismissed big guns like Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, and the debutant Marco Jansen.
The Gujarat-born speedster also bowled a fantastic last over that dented Mumbai Indians’ rally significantly. He conceded one run and took three wickets, while the final delivery resulted in Rahul Chahar’s run-out. Furthermore, Patel held nerve during Royal Challengers’ chase that extended till the 20th over as they had a wobble. He remained unbeaten at 4 off three deliveries to script a win.
This is my first five-for in 98 matches and to get it against a team like Mumbai is special: Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel revealed that he feels delighted to repay Royal Challengers’ faith, having told him at the time of the trade that he would bowl at the death. The 30-year old said he was unaware that he was the first bowler to take a fifer against Mumbai Indians and claimed it was special, having achieved it against such a strong team. Patel remarked that he has been working on his yorker and the ability to bowl at different stages as he was already good with the length and slower deliveries.
“When they traded me they told me I was part of the plans and would bowl at the death. Absolutely happy to be here to repay the faith showed in me. I didn’t know I was the first to get a five-for against Mumbai. Whatever momentum I had I wanted to make use of it. This is my first five-for in 98 matches and to get it against a team like Mumbai is special. I’ve just been working a lot on my yorker, become more confident in bowling it at different stages of the game. I was always good with length balls and slower balls,” Patel told in the post-match presentation.