Harshal Patel struck twice against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to equal Dwayne Bravo's record for most wickets in an Indian Premier League (IPL) season.
When Venkatesh Iyer gloved an attempted pull behind to Srikar Bharat, Patel picked up his 32nd wicket of the season, the same number that Bravo got in 2013 for the Chennai Super Kings. Bravo picked 32 wickets in 18 matches while Harshal Patel claimed his 32 scalps in three fewer matches.
However, Patel won't be able to go past the West Indies all-rounder as the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) crashed out of IPL 2021 in the Eliminator against KKR on Monday.
The RCB pacer, who was traded in from the Delhi Capitals, almost broke Bravo's record but had a catch dropped off his bowling by Devdutt Padikkal. Defending 138, Harshal returned figures of 2/19 in the Eliminator. However, it was not enough to stop KKR from chasing down the target with two balls to spare.
Harshal Patel and his season of heroics at RCB
While RCB's season came to a disappointing end - along with Virat Kohli's tenure as an IPL captain of the franchise - Harshal Patel had a year to remember. Not much was expected from the 30-year-old when he returned to RCB after three years with the Delhi Capitals.
Patel's best season's in the IPL had come in 2015 when he took 17 wickets. However, he had not hit double figures in any other edition of the IPL.
IPL 2021, though, started with a bang for the medium-pacer from Gujarat. The season-opener pitted RCB against defending IPL champions Mumbai Indians and Harshal Patel stole the show. He would go on to become the first player to take a five-wicket haul against Rohit Sharma's team during the game.
From then on, there was no looking back for Patel, as he consistently kept taking wickets, with his deceptive slower balls making him especially dangerous in the death overs. Patel took 19 of his wickets in the death overs.
Patel's worst performance of the season came against Chennai Super Kings when Ravindra Jadeja smashed him for 37 runs in the final over. He ended up conceding 51 runs, but also picked up three wickets in the game.
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In the return fixture against Mumbai Indians in the UAE, Harshal Patel once again starred as he took a brilliant hat-trick. Patel finished IPL 2021 with 32 wickets in 15 matches with an economy rate of 8.14 and a bowling average of 14.34.