Murali Kartik RCB
RCB spinner Murali Kartik celebrates the wicket of Mumbai Indians skipper Ricky Ponting, with teammate Arun Karthik in their IPL-6 encounter at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, April 4Prashant Bhoot/SPORTZPICS/IPL

The celebration when Murali Kartik realised he had picked up the wicket of Ricky Ponting said it all. The pumping adrenaline, the passion and the will to win was there in every single player out on that field at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday as Royal Challengers Bangalore got their IPL-6 campaign off the a winning start with a nail-biting two-run victory over the Mumbai Indians.

The match will be remembered as much for Gayle's barnstorming 92 as it will be for the day when Sachin Tendulkar and Ponting opened the batting together, with Kartik the one to dismiss the Aussie great.

"It's always good. Having played for such a long time the team expects a lot from you," the left-arm spinner said of picking up Ponting's wicket.

"However, it's different with the RCB in the way that I've been a lead spinner for my previous teams but here I play with a champion spinner like Muttiah Muralitharan.

"The IPL is a very long journey and it's satisfying to win a close game like this first up against a strong side like Mumbai Indians."

Apart from Tendulkar and Ponting, there was also another living legend on the field in Muralitharan, and Kartik could not have been happier to share the ball with the Sri Lankan great.

"They say cricket is a funny game but the fact is that it is a very simple game in which funny things happen," Kartik said.

"I've played with so many legends of the game and now I'm sharing the ball with (Muttiah) Muralitharan.

"He's one of the humblest guys I've ever met -- of course you can add people like Ponting and Sachin there -- but for someone who's taken mindboggling 2000 wickets in his career, Murali is absolutely down to earth.

"Just to share the dressing room with him and have that friendly banter with him, I'm blessed."

Kartik, a seasoned pro who has seen pretty much everything there is to see in the game, believes he is a lucky man not to have to bowl to Gayle, who again bailed RCB out of a tight situation with his blistering 58-ball 92.

"I've been bowling to him right since my India A days, in 1998," Kartik told the IPL's official website. "Chris was a big unit then and he's become bigger now.

"I've bowled a bit to him at the international level as well. I remember bowling to him in an ODI during the powerplay. It was a daunting prospect bowling to him then.

"In the IPL I've been fortunate to have him in my team most of the time, first with KKR and now with RCB. He can hit me for a million sixes in the nets but in a match you're happy to give the ball to someone else when he's batting."

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