Batsmen see MI through in dramatic last-ball finish against CSK
By IPL desk
Mumbai 06 May 2012
Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma and Dwayne Smith starred in a sensational two-wicket win for the Mumbai Indians as they beat the defending champions, Chennai Super Kings, at the Wankhede Stadium. After half-centuries from Tendulkar and Sharma set the hosts up for chasing down the visitors’ score of 173, Smith hit Ben Hilfenhaus for 14 runs off the last three deliveries of the match to give MI a pulsating win at home.
Earlier, Harbhajan Singh, the captain of the Mumbai Indians, won the toss and elected to field. Murali Vijay, who has otherwise had an ordinary run in this tournament, gave CSK a brisk start with a 29-ball 41, which included the Chennai opener hitting Munaf Patel for three sixes and a four in the fifth over. MI, however, came right back into the game with two wickets in successive overs that left the visitors stumbling at 52 for two in 6.4 overs. Faf du Plessis (9) was run-out following a mix-up with Vijay in the sixth over, while RP Singh produced a delivery that nipped back after pitching and knocked over Vijay’s stumps in the seventh over.
Suresh Raina and Dwayne Bravo then strung together a 62-run partnership that saw CSK reach the 100-run mark in the 13th over. Raina (36 off 21 balls; 3x4, 2x6), who was the more aggressive of the two batsmen in the third-wicket stand, was eventually caught by RP Singh at point off James Franklin in the 15th over with the score at 114.
Lasith Malinga (three for 25) and RP Singh (three for 28) struck for MI with some wickets towards the end of CSK’s innings. But with Bravo (40 off 33 balls) and MS Dhoni (25 off 15 balls) contributing substantively, the visitors finished at a competitive 173 for eight in 20 overs.
Chasing 174 to win, MI started poorly as James Franklin (1) holed out to Vijay off Ben Hilfenhus’ bowling in just the third over. But Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma helped MI recover from the initial setback. They stitched together a valuable partnership that set the hosts up to go past the winning score. Tendulkar was savage in his assault on the CSK bowlers, particularly Albie Morkel, whom he hit for three boundaries in the fourth over and for two fours and one six in the 11th over. Sharma, on the other hand, was more circumspect of the two batsmen, but was not averse to going for the big shot. He hit Hilfenhaus and Shadab Jakati for a six each in the fifth and 13th over respectively.
However, after a feisty 126-run stand, that saw both batsmen record their respective half-centuries, du Plessis took a stunning, one-handed catch at cover off R Ashwin’s bowling to send Tendulkar (74 off 44 balls; 11x4, 1x6) back to the dugout. From 134 for two in 15.5 overs, MI then seemed to lose their way completely as they lost six more wickets in the space of the next 21 deliveries. Ambati Rayudu, Rob Peterson, Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga fell without scoring a single run between them. Rohit Sharma, who made 60 off 46 balls, also fell during this dramatic passage of play that gave CSK the upper hand in the contest.
MI, however, had the last laugh. With the home team needing 14 off the last three deliveries, all-rounder Dwayne Smith, who was playing his first game for MI, clubbed Ben Hilfenhaus for a six and two fours off successive deliveries to give MI a memorable last-ball win. Scorecard
Man-of-the-match: Dwayne Smith for his cameo of 24* (nine balls; 2x6, 2x4) that included a match-winning, last-ball four