Dubai: Royal Challengers Bangalore pacer Harshal Patel claimed his maiden Purple Cap with 32 wickets in the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League. Harshal played an integral role in RCB’s qualification for the playoffs in his first season with the franchise. RCB pulled off a very smart deal with Delhi Capitals ahead of the 2021 season by trading in Harshal Patel and skipper Virat Kohli showed immense faith in the 30-year-old throughout IPL 2021.

Harshal proved his worth to Royal Challengers Bangalore in their first match of the season by taking a fifer against the 2020 champions Mumbai Indians. The 30-year-old didn’t hold back after that and turned out to be a strike bowler for captain Kohli who led the RCB side for the last time.

Harshal’s extraordinary season also consisted of a hat-trick which he also claimed against the Mumbai Indians in their second tie of the season. He impressed many with his variations and ability to bowl yorkers in the business end of the innings.

The RCB bowler also joined Dwayne Bravo on the top of the list in the tally of most wickets in a single IPL campaign. Harshal claimed his 32nd wicket in the IPL 2021 Eliminator against Kolkata Knight Riders. Meanwhile, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) all-rounder had taken 32 wickets in 2013.

Interestingly, Harshal claimed 32 scalps in three matches lesser than Bravo who took them in 18 matches where IPL had 9 teams competing.

The RCB pacer dominated the purple cap list for almost the entire season while others trying hard to catch him but failing with a healthy margin. Delhi’s Avesh Khan finished second on the list of Purple Cap with 24 wickets in 16 matches. Premier India pacer Jasprit Bumrah once again performed well in the cash-rich league finished with 21 wickets, however, his team failed to qualify for play-offs. With a three-wicket haul in the IPL final, Shardul Thakur finished on the fourth spot with 21 wickets in the season. He played a crucial role in Chennai’s title-winning campaign. Another Indian pacer Mohammed Shami ended the season in the top 5 of the Purple cap tally with 19 wickets.