A hero is 'a person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities'. Or at least that's what the Oxford dictionary tells us.
However on 28th September, around 4,000 miles away from Oxford, in the Dubai International Stadium, there was a very different definition of being a hero. In T20 cricket, it mostly is. The shortest format of the game gives an individual only minutes to be a hero or a villain. That's it, just a few minutes.
In the Super Over, MI managed only seven runs off pacer Navdeep Saini's tight over. Chasing, RCB skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers helped their side achieve the target off the final ball as the former flicked Jasprit Bumrah to pull off an incredible win. Much to his relief.
Before the match slipped into the Super Over, MI, who were chasing a 202-run target, had a worst possible start as RCB debutant Isuru Udana and Washington Sundar struck early, dismissing Rohit Sharma (8) and Suryakumar Yadav, who was back into the hut without opening his account. MI opener Quinton de Kock (14) and Hardik Pandya (15) also couldn't contribute much in their share of moments. They were picked up by RCB's leg-spin duo of the night, Yuzvendra Chahal and Adam Zampa. And that left the four-time champions numb chasing 202.
With 124 needed off the remaining 52 balls, Ishan Kishan, who featured in the playing eleven for an injured Saurabh Tiwary took the fight to RCB. The Jharkhand stumper Kishan duly notched up his half-century off 39 deliveries.
He was joined in the middle by MI's most capped player, Kieron Pollard. The Pollard-Kishan pair took their side to 122/4 in 16 overs before the West Indian suddenly changed gears and clobbered Zampa for 27 runs to bring the team into contention.
There was no stopping for the MI batters as the duo then hammered Chahal for 22 runs in the 18th over. With 31 needed off the final 12 balls, Ishan gathered 12 runs off the penultimate over. Which was bowled by Navdeep Saini.
In the final over, Kishan smashed Udana for two sixes to reach 99. But he missed out on his century as he fell off the second-last ball while trying to go big over the deep mid-wicket area. Kishan's 58-ball knock was decorated with two fours and nine huge sixes.
With five needed off the last ball, Pollard managed to pick a boundary which was not enough to produce a result. The scores were level and the contest then progressed to the Super Over.
For RCB, Udana picked a couple of wickets while Chahal, Zampa, and Sundar settled with one each. However, it would be a shame to just attribute Washington Sundar's performance with a wicket. On a night when 402 runs were scored by both the teams in 20 overs and 18 in the super over, the Tamil Nadu-based all-rounder gave just 12 to the batsmen in his quota of four overs.
RCB, who were asked to bat first, got off to a flying start, courtesy some sensible batting by Devdutt Padikkal (54) and Aaron Finch (52). The duo comfortably steered their side to 59 runs in the initial six overs.
Finch who was bought by the franchise to ease the pressure off Kohli and de Villiers' shoulders did exactly the same. And who was he accompanied by, a 20-year old who made his IPL debut eight days ago and scored his second fifty in just his third game.
While trying to speed up the scoring rate, Finch attempted a lofted drive over the cover area off a Trent Boult delivery in the ninth over but ended up handing an easy catch to Keiron Pollard at long-off. The Aussie's innings, which came off 35 balls, included seven boundaries and a six.
Kohli, who joined Padikkal in the middle, once again struggled with the bat as he departed after managing just three runs from 11 deliveries. The RCB skipper was dismissed by Rahul Chahar in the 13th over with the scorecard reading 92/2.
Padikkal, on the other hand, continued to keep the scorers busy. The 20-year-old swiftly changed gears in the 14th over as he smoked two sixes off James Pattinson. He received able support from de Villiers (55 not out) and the pair added a brisk 62 runs for the third wicket.
With the MI bowlers struggling for breakthroughs, Boult struck again in the 18th over to send back a dangerous-looking Padikkal, whose knock contained five fours and two sixes.
It was then time for some unprecedented action as de Villers and Shivam Dube, added 47 runs for the fourth wicket to help their team post a challenging 201/3 in 20 overs.
While de Villiers remained unbeaten on 55 off 24 balls, Dube, who came up with fireworks in the death overs, remained not out on 27 off 10 balls. ABD's innings was laced with four boundaries and as many sixes while the Indian all-rounder smashed three massive sixes along with a boundary.
In the end though, in a see-saw IPL game between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians, multiple heroes emerged. Not all of them ended on the winning side, but they became heroes for millions, based on which end of the rainbow they were on, red or blue.
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