Harshal Patel (4/17) continued his dream run in the IPL 2021 with a hat-trick to power Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to a massive 54-run win over defending champions Mumbai Indians in match 39 in Dubai on Sunday.
Speaking at the post-match press conference after the game, the purple cap holder (23 wickets) said the hat-trick will take time to sink in as he has never taken a hat-trick ever before.
“First-time ever I have a taken a hat-trick in my life, I had not done this even in a school game. In IPL, I have been on hat-tricks six times and this is the first time I have gotten it. It will take some time to sink in,” said the 30-year-old pacer.
The hat-trick came in the 17th over when he dismissed Hardik Pandya (3), Kieron Pollard (7), and Rahul Chahar (0) to break MI’s backbone when they needed 58 runs off the last four overs. His teammate Yuzvendra Chahal also had his share of the limelight as he picked 3/11 in bundling out MI for 111 (in 18.1 overs) after RCB set 163 to chase. In the first innings, half-centuries from captain Virat Kohli (51) and Glenn Maxwell (56) powered RCB to 162/6 in 20 overs.
When asked which one of the wickets gave him the most pleasure, the pacer said the wicket of Pollard was most satisfying as his slow yorker bowled to him was a bluff.
“The wicket of Kieron Pollard was very satisfactory because it was a bluff, in the meeting we had planned, that you can set him up by bowling wide and then you can bowl a yorker at his heels which he might miss. Rather than bowling fast-paced yorkers at his heel, I bowled a slower one. My aim is always to have a positive impact with ball and bat, irrespective of which team I always play for,” he explained.
The player further said he is very happy with his performance individual while adding that the win against the defending champions will give the side the much-needed momentum for consistency.
“For me personally, I feel pretty good. I am being able to execute my skills. In terms of the team, we are not looking at the points table because if you do, your mind sort of goes away from the process. The difficult thing for us was to overcome this inertia of two losses which we have done in this game and we want to continue with this momentum and we want to play this brand of cricket consistently,” said Harshal.