Uncapped India pacer Harshal Patel was elated after claiming a match-winning five-wicket haul and scoring the all-important winning single off the last delivery to help Royal Challengers Bangalore win the last-ball thriller against Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2021 opener in Chennai. Harshal was named the ‘Man of the Match’ for his heroic performance in the IPL 2021 season opener and reflected on his return to RCB after 3 seasons.
Notably, Harshal Patel was rewarded with his maiden IPL contract back in 2012 by the RCB franchise, and he remained a part of their squad till the 2017 season. He was subsequently picked up by the Delhi Capitals in the auctions and played three seasons for them. After an impressive stint with Delhi, the player has been traded to the Virat Kohli-led RCB team once again,
Harshal claimed the wickets of Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya and Marco Jansen to derail Mumbai Indians and restrict them to 159 for 9 in the season opener. Patel missed his hat-trick but still managed to create history as he became the first bowler in the history of IPL to take a 5-wicket haul against MI.
"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 shown in me," Harshal Patel said at the post-match presentation.
"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," Harshal added.
"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," Harshal further said.
RCB will look to build on their winning start when they take on David Warner-led Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday.