Player of the match: Harshal Patel

End of match: RCB begin campaign with a thrilling win against MI, who lose the first game of the campaign for the 9th season running.

End of the match: RCB 160/8 after 20 overs.

RCB certainly made it more exciting than it should have been, as MI’s losing streak in their first matches of the tournament continues. From 2013 onward, the trend continues. But that was almost a champion-level comeback from Mumbai.

19.6: RCB WIN! Harshal Patel keeps out a good full ball on the stumps. Flicks it to short fine and it is enough to get a single and complete the win. RCB win by 2 wickets!

19.5: SINGLE! It’s a leg bye. RCB won’t care. Scores are level. Siraj gets off strike, Harshal has the chance to finish it off with the bat too.

19.4: RUN OUT!!! ABD IS GONE LOOKING FOR A TWO! Sensational throw from Krunal, sharp work by Ishan, ABD out for 48 off 27 balls. RCB need 2 off 2. Surely not another twist?

19.2: Two over the in-field for Harshal.

19.3: One for Harshal, ABD back on strike.

19.1: Good ball Jansen, wide yorker-ish. Just a single. Harshal on strike.

What a moment this for Jansen. A South African rookie, to a South African legend.

End of 19 overs, RCB 153/7: Jamieson is runout. ABD wanted the strike and Jamieson sacrifices his wicket. Good work by Bumrah after his follow through. ABD does the right thing and takes the single off the last ball and keeps strike. RCB need 7, MI need ABD’s wicket.

18.3: FOUR-TWO-FOUR! That low full toss from Bumrah is not supposed to be hit for a one-bounce four. ABD does it anyway. Runs a two next ball. And then a ramped upper cut for four. WHAT A PLAYER. WHAT A PLAYER. Moves on to 44 off 23 balls. 9 off 9 needed now.

RCB 141/6 after 18 overs: SIX, FOUR! Isn’t this man supposed to be rusty? Do human laws don’t apply to him? He is playing competitive cricket for the first time since IPL 2020! A six over long off off the first ball and then a brutal straight drive. 15 runs from that over, ABD retains strike. Alien de Villiers indeed. 19 needed off 12.

RCB 126/6 after 17 overs: What an over by Bumrah. Five runs and a wicket. Great piece of fielding there too in that over prevents a four. Crucially for RCB, ABD on strike. 34 from 18 needed.

Over 16.3, WICKET! Jasprit Bumrah again! Back in the attack, picks up the wicket of the dangerous Dan Christian. Length ball, cut hard, RChahar takes a sharp catch at point. RCB 122/6.

End of 16: RCB 121/5 (Run-rate 7.56, req’d rate 9.75)

Jansen bowls a decent second over as RCB reach 75/2 after 10. Then, first ball of 11th over bowled by Krunal, Maxwell dances down and sends the ball into the Marina Beach (not sure about the direction but you get the idea). No six in IPL 2020, and the first one in 2021 is out of the ground. Then, first ball of the 12th over bowled by Chahar, he plays a superb switch hit off a length ball to clear the point boundary. You wait for so long for one, two come along quickly. Kohli and RCB management enjoying what they are seeing.

But then, Bumrah comes back and does provide the breakthrough that he almost always does to dismiss Kohli. And not long after, Maxwell’s innings is over as well. Is this a turning point in the match? Shahbaz also gone in that over. MI are back in this!

What’s pressure for ABD though? Smacks a four through cover and a six over long off to keep RCB in the hunt. Brings the RRR down to below 10. Need 39 from 24 balls.

Over 14.6: WICKET! Two wickets in the over for Marco Jansen! Shahbaz finds the fielder in the deep. Oh dear, RCB. 106/5 after 15 overs. MI on top.

Over 14.1: WICKET! Well well well. Is there a twist in the tale? RCB seemed to be cruising when Kohli and Maxwell were batting. Not Maxwell is gone too, as Jansen gets his first IPL wicket. Out for 39 off 28 balls. Just like that, the pressure is all on ABD once again. 103/4.

Over 12.3: WICKET! THE BIG ONE! And who else, but Jasprit Bumrah. Not for the first time, Bumrah gets the wicket of Virat Kohli. A sight that Mumbai fans love to see. Given out LBW and Kohli doesn’t review. Three reds on ball tracking. RCB 98/3

End of 9 overs: RCB 69/2 (Run rate: 7.66, req’d rate 8.27)

Kohli should have been a goner, first ball after powerplay. Massive mix-up in the middle, Kohli had given up. But Hardik and Ishan cannot combine to complete the runout. Rahul Chahar comes on and concedes 13 from his first over as Maxwell powers one through cover for four. And Maxi plays another brilliant shot for four next over, off Krunal. A lofted inside-out cover drive. RCB are going along nicely as a timeout is taken.

Powerplay: RCB 46/2 (6), run rate 7.66, req’d rate: 8.14

Boult, the taker of frequent powerplay wickets in 2020, should have had one in the first over here. Rohit Sharma drops a sitter at second slip, the away swinger to Washi gets the outside edge. Not converted. Five wides and a leading edge for four by Kohli means it was an eventful first over by the Kiwi pacer. Bumrah with 5 runs from the other end, Rohit doesn’t wait to introduce him into the attack. Kohli then plays a delightful cover drive for four off Boult in the third over. Woof, that was some shot, Washington, however, is struggling from one end.

Jansen comes on to bowl 4th over, Kohli latches on to a free hit for a four over short-fine after a pull shot for four earlier. 14 runs from that over and RCB race on to 35!

But Krunal and Boult help MI finish the powerplay strongly with two wickets in the last two overs.

Over 5.5, WICKET! Boult will have his powerplay wicket after all. Looked like a drifter from a knuckle-ball, Patidar is late on it and plays on to the stumps. RCB 46/2, just a brief cameo for a promising uncapped player today. Patidar out for 8.

Over 4.2, WICKET! Krunal strikes. Washington Sundar’s struggles come to an end. Just never got going at his home ground. Out for 10 off 16 balls, as he miscues a slog. RCB 36/1.

13 runs from Jansen's first over in IPL!
Trent Boult unlucky not to get another powerplay wicket, Rohit Sharma puts down a catch at second slip off Washington Sundar

Well, well. Virat Kohli and Washington Sundar to open.

End of innings: MI 159/9 (20 overs, RR 7.95)

MI were reduced to 31/6 in the last 5 overs. Siraj comes on to bowl the 17th over, Washington puts down a catch at deep square leg that he should have taken. Ishan Kishan gets a life and a four to go with it. Good over though, just 7 off it. 0/22 from Siraj’s 4 overs. But then, it is Siraj’s turn to drop a catch. PUTS DOWN A SITTER! Next over, it is Kohli’s turn to drop a catch and there is also a no ball because RCB had three fielders in the circle. But despite all that, Harshal Patel’s sensational last over (3 wickets to him, 1 run out and one run in the 20th!) means RCB are much the happier side.

19.6: WICKET. A Runout off the last ball. Four wickets fall in the final over, what a finish by Harshal Patel. MI finish 159/9, Harshal has figures of 5/27. The first ever five-for by a bowler against MI, we are told by the broadcasters.

19.4: WICKET! FIVE-FOR, HARSHAL PATEL! Sensational from the allrounder. What a night for him. Marco Jansen is bowled by a yorker. MI 158/8. Hat-trick missed by a ball.

19.2: WICKET! Kieron Pollard gone and what a performance this has been by Harshal Patel! Slower ball, KP finds the fielder on the leg side boundary. MI 158/7.

19.1: WICKET! Harshal Patel has his third! Krunal Pandya is out caught by Dan Christian. MI 158/6.

19th over: OH DEAR. First Kohli drops a catch at mid-on and then the ball hits his eye, it looked like. Scary moment! Then Krunal’s bat is broken at the handle by a yorker. Eventful over from Jamieson.

Over 17.4: WICKET! Well, what do you know, Nitin Menon does get a decision wrong every now and then. Ishan Kishan is gone after a couple of dropped catches. It’s a good review by RCB. LBW off a yorker. Harshal Patel has another and he’s done a great job for RCB here. 145/5.

End of 16 overs: MI 135/4 (Run rate 8.43)

Sensing that he needs some control back, Kohli brings back Chahal. He goes for just three runs as MI reach 86/1 at the end of 10 overs. Jamieson comes on from the other end as Kohli continues to shuffle his bowlers and does well to send SKY back. And then, it’s another change as Siraj comes on for one over. Finally, Washington comes on as the 7th bowler in the last 7 overs and strikes right away. RCB seem to have pulled things back.

But MI don’t quite do consolidation, and it’s Ishan Kishan with his first six of IPL 2021 — the leading six-hitter of last season. Down the ground off Chahal. Follows that up with a four. Chahal finishes with 0/41 from his 4. Christian comes on for his 2nd over, Hardik powers one down the ground for a four. Brutal. Harshal comes on for his 2nd and finishes that wicket the big wicket of Hardik, just before the death overs begin. Different matter that Kieron Pollard walks in now.

15.6: WICKET! Nitin Menon raises his finger for a LBW against Hardik Pandya... and guess what, Nitin Menon is right! Review doesn’t save Hardik, Harshal Patel strikes. MI 135/4

Over 12.5: WICKET! Washington Sundar comes on, for the seventh different bowler to bowl the last seven overs and he strikes right away. Chris Lynn has either been timing them big or barely getting the timing right tonight. It’s the latter this time and Washington runs back to complete a return catch. Lynn out for 49.

End of 11 overs, MI 94/2: WICKET! KYLE JAMIESON! The extra bounce from the super tall Kiwi pacer does the trick. Couple of deliveries after getting hit for a six by Suryakumar Yadav (31 off 23), he digs one short and gets it to raise enough for SKY to edge it to ABD. Delight for Kohli, first IPL wicket for Jamieson. Cross-seam, it looked like.

End of 9 overs: MI 83/1 (Run rate 9.22)

Powerplay over, no matter say Lynn. Has his weakness against ball turning away but doesn’t show that as he goes big against Shahbaz Ahmed’s left-arm spin for his second six. FOURTEEN RUNS in that over as 50 comes up. Harshal Patel, with his medium-pace, comes on to bowl the 8th over. A no-ball early, Lynn smokes the free hit for a six and he has found momentum big time. SKY helps himself to a boundary too in that over. 15 runs in that over. MI really pushing through the gears in the last couple of overs, not allowing RCB to sneak in part-time overs. Dan Christian with the 9th over, and SKY hits his fourth four, followed by another for Lynn.

No Washington Sundar yet, with Kohli perhaps looking at two right-handers in the middle. But the last three overs have put MI firmly on the front-foot here! Have RCB let MI off the hook? 14, 15, 13 runs in the last three overs for a total of 42! Timeout taken.

Powerplay: Mumbai Indians 41/1 (6 overs, RR: 6.83)

First things first, AB de Villiers is keeping wickets once again for RCB.

Siraj starts off with a steady over, not much swing on offer. Early signs of ball stopping on the batsman, though. Five runs in the first over. Jamieson starts off from the other end and he gets the outside edge off Lynn but the ball drops short of the fielder at first slip, more signs that there is not too much pace to play with. Just one run in the Jamieson over. Siraj continues, and it is more struggles with timing for Rohit. He hits the first four though, just about clearing a leaping Jamieson at mid-off. RCB will be happy with 12/0 at the end of three.

Chahal comes on to bowl the fourth over, and it is another streaky boundary. This time inside edge by Lynn, doesn’t read the googly. Gets away with a four. The first six of the tournament and it is from the bat of Rohit! Down the ground, just eased over long on. Sheer timing there! But the MI captain is out a couple of deliveries later. Lynn sends him back late, and Kohli gets the throw to the right end to dismiss his counterpart. Disappointment for Rohit. 24/1 after 4 overs.

Suryakumar in at No 3 and starts off in typically stylish fashion with a first-ball four off Jamieson. But it is a good over from the Kiwi nonetheless, just six off it. Chahal finishes the powerplay as Lynn goes big down the ground for his first six and SKY finishes with another boundary to his name.

End of 4 overs, MI 24/1: WICKET! ROHIT SHARMA GONE! Run out for 19 off 15 balls. Lynn sends Rohit back, he is too far down the pitch though. Kohli’s throw is to the right end.

Here we go. Rohit Sharma and Chris Lynn in the middle. Mohammed Siraj has the ball in hand. IPL 2021 is underway in Chennai. How will MI go in the powerplay?

Toss and team news

Virat Kohli has no hesitation in chasing, mentions how MI love to chase as well as part of the decision-making. Rohit Sharma reckons it is a good batting pitch. Both teams have debutants (some for the team, some for the IPL as a whole). Glenn Maxwell, Kyle Jamieson make their RCB bows and it is a debut for uncapped Rajat Patidar as well, who was in great form for RCB in their practice matches. No Devdutt Padikkal, as he has been advised to rest longer after recovering from Covid-19. For MI, two changes to the XI that won the final in UAE, says Rohit (But it is actually three changes, he forgot Rahul Chahar we suppose). Marco Jansen, exciting SA youngster, with his left-arm pace makes his debut in IPL. Chris Lynn (debut for MI) replaces Quinton de Kock, who is still in quarantine.

Mumbai Indians XI: Rohit Sharma (C), Chris Lynn, Ishan Kishan (W), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Marco Jansen, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah

Royal Challengers Bangalore XI: Virat Kohli (C), Rajat Patidar, AB de Villiers (W), Glenn Maxwell
Washington Sundar, Dan Christian, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Shahbaz Ahmed, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal

TOSS: “It’s unbelievable,” Virat Kohli says with a smile as he wins a toss after what feels like 84 years.


The first match of the tournament is not a happy memory usually for Mumbai Indians. The serial winners have actually lost their curtain-raisers in each of the last EIGHT seasons. At Chepauk tonight, Kohli and Co would love for that streak to continue.

HEAD TO HEAD: Played 27, Mumbai 17, Bangalore 10 (one super over win)

Here’s some pre-match reading to warm you up as we wait for the toss.

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06.45 pm: Hello everyone and welcome to our live blog of the Indian Premier League 2021 curtain-raiser. It’s been 150 days since Mumbai Indians clinched their unprecedented fifth title. And they will begin their quest for a unprecedented hat-trick, when they take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai. At the other end of the spectrum, Virat Kohli and Co begin their quest for a first ever title. The world, and India especially, is still reeling from the effects of the coronavirus virus but for the next two months, the IPL is set to be a distraction for countless cricket fans around the world.

Sit back, enjoy the ride.