AB de Villiers smashed 48 off 27 deliveries as the Royal Challengers Bangalore got their 2021 IPL campaign off to a winning start against the defending champions Mumbai Indians on Friday.
The new IPL season kicked off with a mouthwatering clash in Chennai that saw 20-year-old South African fast-bowler Marco Jansen make his debut for the Mumbai Indians.
Batting first, Rohit Sharma’s charges posted 159-9 in their allotted 20 overs with Australian Chris Lynn doing the damage with the bat, hitting 49 from 35, while Harshal Patel claimed impressive figures of 5-27 for RCB.
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Virat Kohli got his team’s run chasing rolling with 33 at the top of the order, while Glen Maxwell played a few innovative strokes for his 39 before he was dismissed by Jansen.
The tall left-armer then bagged his second scalp with the wicket of Shahbaz Ahmed but De Villiers was his ever-fluent best and kept RCB in the contest, despite regular wickets falling.
De Villiers cleared the boundary on two occasions that set up a thrilling final over with RCB requiring seven runs for victory, while Jansen was handed the responsibility with the ball.
The former Proteas captain then fell to a run-out trying to turn for a second run but a sharp throw by Krunal Pandya had him short of his ground.
RCB were left with one run to get from the very last ball of the match, which Patel managed to nudge for a single to seal an enthralling two-wicket victory.