26th May: Chennai S. Kings v Mumbai I, 14:30 GMT
24th-28th May: 2nd Test, Headingley
We often hear the cliché: "sport can be a great leveller", and after the weekend Rohit Sharma will be able to completely relate to those sentiments.
Sharma, who is 22, hails from Mumbai and has been one of the most valuable players, for the Hyderabad team, the Deccan Chargers in the IPL, consistently scoring runs, effecting a few run outs and even chipping in with some vital wickets.
The Deccan Chargers looked unstoppable early on in this year's competition winning their first four games. Since then however it has become more of a grind for Adam Gilchrist's men, and every match appears to be vital if they are to qualify for the semi-finals of IPL 2.
This meant that the back to back games which the Chargers were to compete in last weekend were always going to have a big effect on their future in this year's tournament, and when Deccan saw that it was the Kolkata Knight Riders, that they had to play on Saturday, they must have really fancied their chances of adding another win to their tally as the Knight Riders have had a disastrous tournament, winning just two matches.
The Knight Riders may not be able to reach the semi-finals, but they are a team that have nothing to lose - they very nearly upset the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their previous match, but could not quite get over the line, on this occasion the Kolkata team, posted a very competitive total of 160, thanks mainly to a exhilarating cameo from Australian David Hussey.
The Chargers made a great start to their run chase, courtesy of their skipper Gilchrist, however he was dismissed for 43, caught on the mid wicket boundary when trying to increase the tempo of the Chargers innings, and that led to something of a collapse for the Chargers, and with 21 runs needed off the last over, the Knight Riders appeared to be on course for only their second victory of this years competition.
The final over was to be bowled by the Bangladeshi all-rounder Mashrafe Mortaza, Sharma read the first ball and pulled him for four, the delivery was called a no ball which meant that the equation came down to 16 runs required from 6 balls. Sharma then ran through for a leg bye, before Venugopal Rao took a single to leave the Chargers needing 14 runs off the last four balls. Sharma proceeded to hit a six over mid wicket, a four through the covers and another six on the leg side, to seal an epic victory for the Chargers off the last ball of the game.
Sharma was understandably named man of the match for his efforts and the experts reiterated their view that Sharma appears to be the future of Indian cricket.
Less than 24 hours later, the Deccan Chargers took to the field again, this time to face the Kings XI Punjab, and after winning the toss Gilchrist elected to field, and a fantastic effort in the field saw Punjab restricted to just 134, and at the half way stage the Chargers seemed to be on course for their second victory in as many days. Although the Chargers lost Gilchrist and Tirumalasetti Suman early on, they found themselves 65 for two after ten overs and appeared to be cruising to an emphatic victory.
However. yet again the Chargers suffered a dramatic collapse, and when they required 23 from eight balls, with Brett Lee bowling, they appeared to have let victory slip through their hands. Sharma once again appeared to have other ideas, as he smashed Lee for a six over mid wicket before hitting him for a four through the cover region, to leave the Chargers needing 13 off the last over, another boundary in the last over helped the Chargers get the equation down to needing just four runs from four balls with Sharma on strike, a position from which they couldn't lose. Or so it seemed.
Sharma, as he had done the day before, tried to finish the match off with one blow, and he attempted to smash Irfan Pathan over midwicket for six, on this occasion, however, he missed, and was bowled; the tail could then only manage another two runs and the Chargers lost by an agonising one run.
All is not lost, indeed both teams still have a fantastic chance of making the semis, and victory for Gilchrist's men on Thursday against the Royal Challengers Bangalore will seal a berth in the last four, but it truly is amazing what a difference a day can make in the IPL.
© Cricket World 2009