Dubai: Man-of-the-Match Parthiv Patel hailed fellow Royal Challengers Bangalore hero AB de Villiers after the pair guided their side to a seven-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in the Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium here on Saturday.
The 29-year-old former India batsman hit a classy unbeaten 57 from 45 balls as he helped RCB rack up their second successive win at the beginning of this year’s IPL. Patel was joined by South African De Villiers with their team in trouble at 17 for three chasing Mumbai’s modest target of 116.
Parthiv Patel in action on Saturday.
With Zaheer Khan and Lasith Malinga bowling well, the Bangalore pair took their time before gradually getting on top of the bowling and eventually winning the match with an unbroken 99 partnership and with 15 balls to spare.
Patel, who also scored 37 in RCB’s opener against Delhi, said of De Villiers: “He’s one of the greatest players at the moment. Having so many great players in the side makes my job easier.
“We had to give ourselves a bit of time because the wicket wasn’t that easy and we had lost three early wickets. Thankfully our bowlers did a good job so we didn’t have to chase too big a target. I took singles and AB took on the bowlers, and then later AB took singles and gave me the strike. It was quite good to play with AB de Villiers.
“Obviously they were going through a very good spell [when we came together], so we decided not to take them on. We decided to just take singles. It’s a 20-over game so, at the start, they [Zaheer and Malinga] could bowl only two overs, so we just tried to take ones and see off their spells.”
Parthiv also paid tribute to Bangalore’s 23-year-old leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who impressed in taking two for 17 in his four overs against his former employers. “He’s excellent. He has always done well in the Twenty20 format,” Parthiv said. “Unfortunately, till last year he was at Mumbai Indians, who have always had quality spinners, so he didn’t get the chance to play. Here he got the chance and he was brilliant.”
The Indians, who won last year’s IPL, suffered their second successive loss and veteran left-arm pacer Zaheer admitted their poor batting was a serious concern. “It’s still early days in the tournament, so that’s a positive — we still have time to regroup and move on. It’s obvious that there are little things and areas to work on in terms of our batting,” he said.
“But we were pretty much in the game. That partnership between AB and Parthiv was crucial. I felt that if we had taken one more wicket in the middle overs, probably the game would have been different. But it was very well fought as far as the match was concerned.”