The defending champions posted a par total of 159 runs as Harshal Patel took a five-wicket haul. In the replay, Virat Kohli’s side stuttered to 122/6, and it seemed Mumbai will break their first match jinx having not won their opening game of a season since 2013.
However, AB de Villiers came to the rescue again; despite not playing any professional level of cricket since the last IPL, it seemed as if he never left. The South African smashed 48 runs off 27 balls – he tore apart the likes of Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah in the 18th and 19 over to bring the equation down from 34 runs off 18 balls to just 7 off 6, which was chased down only on the last delivery.
“Was an incredible game of cricket. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, we knew it wasn’t an easy pitch to play on and it’s one of those wickets that gets harder as the game goes on and we knew if we could take it to the end we could take a chance,” AB de Villiers said after the match.
Absolute pleasure playing alongside him Glenn Maxwell: AB de Villiers
The wicket-keeper batsman also expressed his elation and excitement to play along with RCB big-money signing this season – Glenn Maxwell (INR 14.25 crore), and Daniel Christian (INR 4.8 crore).
Maxwell had a poor run last year for Punjab – where he couldn’t hit a single six – but has started IPL 2021 in typical ‘Big Show’ fashion. He attacked the MI spinners – Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar – in the middle-overs, the exact reason he batted ahead of AB de Villiers. Maxwell smashed 39 from 28 and contributed largely to the fifty partnership with the skipper before AB finished the chase.
“Absolute pleasure playing alongside him (Maxwell). I love playing with players like that and he just wants to win cricket games. And also there’s Dan Christian,” the Pretoria-born added.
RCB will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad, who eliminated them last season, on Wednesday, while Mumbai Indians, in search of their first win, will square off with Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday; both the games will take place in Chennai.