Unheralded Harshal Patel on Friday became the first bowler in the history of the Indian Premier League to take a five-wicket haul against Mumbai Indians. He achieved the feat during the season opener of the 14th edition of the tournament at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
Introduced into the attack after the PowerPlay, Chris Lynn and Suryakumar Yadav pulled off 11 runs off his opening over. But the pacer returned strongly in the 16th over to dismiss Hardik Pandya with a slowish dipper. He then dismissed Ishan Kishan in a similar fashion before picking three wickets - Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, and Marco Jansen in the final over.
His 5 for 27 is not just his best-ever T20 figure, the number is the third-best figure recorded by an uncapped Indian in IPL history after Ankit Rajpoot's 5/14 against Sunrisers Hyderabad for Kings XI Punjab in 2018 and Varun Chakravarthy's 5/20 against Delhi Capitals for Kolkata Knight Riders in 2020.
Harshal also became the first bowler to record a five-wicket haul against the five-time winners, surpassing the previous best figures of 4/6 by Rohit Sharma, for Deccan Chargers at Centurion in 2009.
"Ball started tailing a bit when I came into bowl the 16th over, that was my clue. And I executed brilliantly. You can't look at the opposition all the time. All you need to focus on at the top of your mark is your execution and planning and that's what I did. It was very clear from the beginning I was going to bowl two overs at the death but today I bowled three. Feels great. This is my first five-wicket haul in all the T20s I've played. Coming against MI it feels special. It's a decent batting surface. Just the dimensions allow you to take pace off. Also the bounce isn't as good as it usually is. It's probably keeping low. But I don't think it's a two paced wicket," Harshal said at the end of Mumbai's innings in Chennai.
Harshal's 5/27 helped RCB restrict Mumbai for 159 for nine in 20 overs after opting to bowl first in Chennai.