IPL 2012: Sharma Engineers Thrilling Win For Mumbai
Mumbai Indians 142-5 (Sharma 73no) beat
Deccan Chargers 138-9 (Dhawan 41) by five wickets
Indian Premier League, Visakhapatnam
Rohit Sharma hit the last ball for six to hand the Mumbai Indians a thrilling five-wicket win over the Deccan Chargers in a nail-biting Indian Premier League 2012 encounter in Visakhapatnam.
Sharma was unbeaten on 73 in 50 balls as his side closed on 142 for five in reply to Deccan's score of 138 for nine.
Dale Steyn bowled beautifully to return figures of three for 12 but despite his efforts leaving Mumbai the task of 18 to win from the final over, he ended up on the losing side.
The Chargers made a poor start, losing both Parthiv Patel and Bharat Chipli to Munaf Patel for a single before Shikhar Dhawan crashed 41 in 24 balls against his former team.
Daniel Christian (39 in 36) then joined forces with Kumar Sangakkara (14) whose dismissal - eventually - had a touch of the bizarre and controversial about it.
He inside-edged Patel onto his stumps but the on-field umpires judged that the ball had ricocheted off wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik's pads and gave him not out. After concerted pressure from the Mumbai players, led by captain Harbhajan Singh and Patel, the umpires decided to go upstairs, where the decision was quickly overturned.
An unhappy Sangakkara had to depart and the scenes being beamed around the world of cricketers remonstrating with officials were not pretty.
Christian composed himself and quickly added 41 runs in partnership with compatriot Cameron White, who belted two sixes in his innings of 30 in 22 balls.
Lasith Malinga (3-27) and Kieron Pollard (2-20) then had too much ammunition for the lower order while Patel's earlier burst had seen him pick up four for 20.
Inspired by Dale Steyn, who delivered a wicket maiden to Richard Levi (3), the Chargers started as well with the ball as they had badly with the bat.
Steyn followed up a nonchalantly taken caught and bowled to remove Tirumalasetti Suman for five with an unplayable over to Levi which ended with the batsman's stumps being rearranged.
Consolidation arrived in the form of Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu, the latter making 19 before he picked out Dhawan as Amit Mishra came on to bowl.
Pollard (24) then made good use of a stiff breeze, hitting downwind to smash three sixes before he was well caught by Dhawan as the ball and swirled and moved in the air after he lifted Christian high into the night sky.
With three overs to go, Mumbai needed 37 to win but Sharma hit two sixes off Mishra threw the game wide open and with 14 coming from it, 23 runs were needed from the final 12 balls.
Dale Steyn returned summoning up all of his pace and he was too good for Karthik (7), who chopped onto his stumps - in a far more obvious manner than Sangakkara had earlier and as Steyn completed outstanding figures of three for 12, Sharma and James Franklin were tasked with scoring 18 to win off the final over, bowled by Christian.
Franklin struck the first ball cleanly down the ground for a boundary, scrambled a couple more from the next ball and then a bye to get Sharma back on strike with 11 required.
A wide full toss was then thumped over backward point for six by Sharma, who then completed another two runs from the penultimate ball courtesy of a brilliant dive to make his crease.
Three were needed to win and two to tie from the final ball but Sharma finished the game in style by driving Christian over mid on for a huge six. It was a shot good enough to win any game of cricket.
© Cricket World 2012