Mumbai, May 6 (IANS) Dwayne Smith pulled off a stunning last ball win for the Mumbai Indians over the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here Sunday after Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma set up the memorable victory with a scintillating 126-run partnership.
It seemed Mumbai would waste the good work done by Tendulkar (74) and Sharma (60) before Smith punished fast bowler Ben Hilfenahus (2-34) for getting the yorkers wrong in the final over and got the required 14 runs off the last three balls, sending the Wankhede crowd into a frenzy. In the end, Mumbai got home with two wickets to spare. Super Kings had made 173 for eight in 20 overs.
Interestingly, it was Smith’s first match of IPL-V after he was drafted into the side as replacement for Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson.
Mumbai consolidated their third position in the points table with their third win in as many matches. They now have 14 points from 11 matches while Super Kings remain at fourth with 11 points from 12 games.
Mumbai were cruising towards the target with Tendulkar and Sharma taking the Super Kings’ attack to the cleaners. The team needed 43 off 30 balls with nine wickets in hand and the two batsmen did not look like getting out.
The game, however, changed dramatically when Faf du Plessis plucked a spectacular one-handed catch for Tendulkar’s dismissal, leaving Mumbai at 134 for two with another 38 needed off 24 balls.
In no time, Mumbai were 151 for six as Sharma, Dinesh Karthik (11), Ambati Rayudu (0), and Robin Peterson (0) departed in quick succession.
Two more wickets fell to tilt the match in Super Kings’s favour before Smith’s heroics rescued Mumbai.
Tendulkar was unstoppable during his 44-ball scorcher, playing delightful strokes all around the park. He struck 11 boundaries and a six for his first fifty of IPL-V. The highlight of the master blaster’s innings was the way used the crease to make room for the aerial shots against the fast bowlers as well as the spinners.
Sharma, who hit a match-winning six off the last ball against the Deccan Chargers earlier in the tournament, gave great support to Tendulkar and was quick to put the loose balls away.
Earlier, contributions from Murali Vijay (41), Dwayne Bravo (40), Suresh Raina (36) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (25) took the Super Kings to an imposing total.
Opener Vijay was back amongst runs after a long lean period, hitting four boundaries and a three sixes in his 29-ball knock.
Bravo and Raina shared a 62-run stand off 45 balls in the middle overs with the southpaw being the aggressor. Raina cracked three fours and a couple of sixes in his 21-ball cameo.
Dhoni hit some lusty blows towards the end before Mumbai pulled things back through two tight overs by RP Singh (3-28) and Lasith Malinga (3-25).