Mumbai Indians continued their unfortunate streak of not winning their first match of the Indian Premier League after going down by 2 wickets against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the season-opener in Chennai on Friday.
The defending champions were outclassed by an outstanding knock from AB de Villiers, who made 48 off 27 balls to help RCB chase down 160 in a thrilling first game of IPL 2021. Glenn Maxwell (39) and Virat Kohli (33) also made crucial contributions in the victory.
The result was a shot in the arm for the defending champions Mumbai Indians, who haven't won their opening match in the IPL since 2012. But captain Rohit Sharma didn't sound too disappointed with the outcome of the match.
"Winning the championship is important, I guess, not the first game. Great fight, we didn't let it go easily. Although the score wasn't something we were happy with.
"We were 20 short. We made some mistakes, those are bound to happen. We need to move on," Rohit said at the post-match presentation.
Earlier, a five-wicket haul from Harshal Patel helped RCB restrict MI to 159 for 9 after Virat Kohli elected to bowl first. Patel became the first bowler in IPL history take 5 wickets against the five-time champions.
"We haven't had much time together as a group and it was totally opposite in Dubai, where we began preparations a month before. But that's how the IPL has been played over the years, you just got to get in the game as quickly as possible.
"It can be difficult for teams that have great home records, but that is what sport is, you've got to go away and win," Rohit signed off.
The win helped RCB improve their head-to-head record over MI with 11 wins out of 28 matches. This is also the first time ever that RCB won their first game of the IPL.
RCB will next face 2016 champions Sunrisers Hyderabad at the same venue in Chennai on April 14 while MI will take on two-time winners Kolkata Knight Riders a day before at Chepauk.