Royal Challengers Bangalore enjoyed a sweet homecoming as RCB handed Mumbai Indians a crushing 8 wicket defeat at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday, April 2, 2023.
Apart from a solid knock from Mumbai Indians's Tilak Varma it was RCB's match throughout. Playing in their opening game of the 2023 Indian Premier League season, the Challengers ticked all the boxes. But two players stole the show in front of their home crowd.
After electing to bowl first, the Challengers restricted the former champions to 171/7. Apart from Tilak Varma's unbeaten 84 off 46, the MI batters failed to impress with the willow. Struggling to build partnerships, Mumbai rode on Varma's knock to post a modest total, which RCB chased down with 22 balls to spare.
RCB's innings panned out completely differently. The Challengers openers pressed on the pedal from the onset of the chase and guided them to a comfortable win.
RCB Skipper Faf du Plessis along with opening partner Virat Kohli put up a massive partnership of 148 from just 89 deliveries to put the Challengers in control. MI Skipper Rohit Sharma was left clueless as boundaries rained during the second innings at the Chinnaswamy stadium.
Both openers scored in tandem as they made a statement in their opening game of the season. This was Kohli and Du Plessis's third 100-run partnership.
The skipper scored a sizzling 43-ball 73 before MI debutant Arshad Khan picked up the first wicket for Mumbai. In the 15th over, du Plessis found Tim David at long on as a match-winning partnership came to an end. But by then, the match was already in RCB's pocket. Du Plessis's stunning knock was studded with five boundaries and six sixes.
Meanwhile, Kohli, who has been in stellar form recently, carried his form into the IPL as he remained unbeaten on 82. Kohli's smashing 49-ball 82 was peppered with six boundaries and five smashing sixes.
Still looking for their maiden IPL win, Kohli finished the match off in style as he hammered Arshad for a six. Ticking all the boxes, which included some phenomenal catches, the Challengers began their season with a cracking win.
Fittingly, Faf was adjudged the Player of the Match.