Harshal Patel
source: Twitter @RCBTweets

Harshal Patel, the leading wicket-taker in IPL 2021, has been playing a tournament to remember for a long long time in the history of the famous franchise-based T20 League. The Purple cap holder achieved a big milestone as he surpassed the record of his teammate Yuzvendra Chahal of getting the highest number of wickets (23) in an IPL season on Wednesday. 

In a tournament that favours batsmen, this was no less than turning point.

RCB’s wicket-machine has picked 72 wickets in 59 games and has joined the list of most wickets taken by a bowler in a single IPL season. DJ Bravo, the legendary CSK bowler, still sits on a throne with 32 scalps in the 2013 season.

King Kohli’s franchise started with bang-bang consecutive wins in the first leg of IPL 2021 and ended with five wins in seven games. Patel roared in the very first game against one of the most successful IPL franchises, MI with five-for and then kept on performing like a trump card for his team looking for the first IPL trophy.

Harshal Patel ended the first half with 17 wickets and continued from where he left. Let’s relish his power-pack performances in the 2nd leg of IPL 2021:

  • Wicket -less in the first match of the second leg of the IPL 2021 at Abu Dhabi, 13-0 (4). KKR conquered RCB easily by 9 wickets, RCB 92/10 (19) & KKR 94-1 (10)
  • Came back strongly in the next game against MSD led CSK with 2-25 (3.1) but not enough to earn the 2 points for his team RCB in the points table. RCB got a brilliant start by Kohli and Padikkal’s opening stand of 111 off just 80 balls but couldn’t capitalize it in the 2nd half as RCB only managed to put 156 runs on the board. CSK easily won the game by 6 wickets with 11 balls remaining.
  • RCB vs MI, A blockbuster contest was slated to be played on Sunday evening. Match 39 between King Kohli’s RCB and Hitman Rohit Sharma’s MI was important for both sides as they were finding their ways to earn two precious points after consecutive losses in the IPL 2021 second leg in the UAE.

The equation was not in favor of the Mumbai Indians as they needed 61 off just 24 balls but we all know what Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya could do in the final phase of the game. It was all about Maxwell’s show until the Purple cap holder Harshal Patel rattled MI’s powerhouse batting order with a sizzling hat-trick in the 16th over.

16th Over:

  • 1st ball: Hardik Pandya was all-set for a big hit but Harshal Patel’s Off-cutter ball on a fuller length hit straight up in the air by the batter and captain Kohli took a smart catch.

  • 2nd ball: Pollard was expecting the same off-side wide cutter ball and exposed his middle and leg stump. Purple cap holder Patel was smart enough to bluff the batter and hit the leg stump.

  • Hat-trick ball: It was loopy off-cutter full-toss to Rahul Chahar that hit straight onto the pads of the batter and then the umpire did the rest, raising the finger. The batter didn’t even think to ask for a review, all RCB fielders started running towards the RCB bowling machine, Harshal Patel and fans went crazy at the Dubai International Cricket stadium.

RCB easily won the game by a huge margin of 54 runs with 11 balls remaining to be bowled. It was the first time RCB bowled out MI in IPL and won both contests in the same season.

  • RCB vs RR (43rd match), the royal battle was easily won by the Challengers against Royals by 7 wickets in just 17.1 overs. Harshal Patel, who initially went for some runs, bounced back in the final over of the first innings with two consecutive wickets and nearly missed a second hat-trick but ended up the innings with wicket number 26 on the last ball of the 20th over.

IPL 2021 can be RCB’s season for as long as they tick all the right boxes in various departments whether batting, bowling or fielding. Every player is aiming for one thing i.e., the IPL trophy and is leaving no stone unturned in delivering on the field.

Here’s where things stand at the moment

CSK stands at the top of the table with 18 points and RCB at the third spot with 14 points. We expect at least RCB to qualify for the play-offs as they have three games to play against PBKS, SRH & DC and they would need at least one win to compete and two wins to reserve their place.

RCB hasn’t been able to lift the IPL and poor bowling has been one of the main reasons for their failures. Overall, Yuzi Chahal is their prime wicket-taking bowler, and performers like Harshal Patel, Mohammad Siraj make RCB a strong bowling lineup with Daniel Christian, Shahbaz Ahmed, Glenn Maxwell as the fifth bowling option.

 KS Bharat has also added an extra flavor in their batting line at the crucial number three spot which makes the batting line up deep with ABD batting at number five. Openers Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkat have also been hitting the ball all over the park with the support of Maxi in the middle order.

One hopes Harshal Patel keeps performing like this and ends up winning the IPL for his team. Bold call? What was ever achieved without playing bold?

Go for it o tireless wicket taker for Bengaluru: 2021 with Purple Cap and IPL title for RCB!


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