Visakhapatnam, Apr 9: Rohit Sharma hit a six off the final ball of the game to seal a thrilling five-wicket victory for Mumbai Indians against Deccan Chargers in Game 9 of IPL 5 here at the ACA-VDCA Stadium on Monday night. This was the first close contest in nine games of IPL this season. Finally IPL has come alive, thanks to Rohit.
See Rohit and Mumbai celebrating, in IPL Gallery
[Scorecard: Game 9, Mumbai Indians Vs Deccan Chargers]
Rohit remained unbeaten on 73 off 50 balls with five sixes and four fours to chase down a modest target of 139. Needing 18 off the final over bowled by Australian Daniel Christian, Mumbai won on the last ball when three were required off it and Rohit smashed the full toss ball into the stands in the long-on boundary region. Mumbai scored 21 off the last over to end with 142/5 in 20 overs. Christian's forgettable night ended with his four overs costing 49 for one wicket.
The right-handed Rohit, who is a former Deccan Chargers player, came in at number three and played some elegant shots. It is always pleasing to watch Rohit at the crease. He is a free-flowing batsman and the same was on view on Monday night. He was adjudged Man-of-the-match.
This was second win for Mumbai in three games while Deccan slipped to two defeats in two home games.
It was deja vu for Australia's Christian. He was in a similar situation last year in the Champions League T20 in Bangalore when he was hit for a last-ball six by Royal Challengers Bangalore's Arun Karthik. Then, Christian was playing for South Australia Redbacks. Two times in this country, Christian has ended up on the losing side after a last-ball heartbreak. On that night on October 5, 2011, he could not defend 14 runs off the final over.
The final over started off with James Franklin hitting a four straight down the ground. Then Franklin took a two followed by a bye. On the fourth ball Christian bowled a wide full toss which was deposited into the stands through wide of point region. With five needed off two balls, Rohit's desperate dive at the striker's end saved him from a run out and they had got two runs. It came to three off the final ball and Rohit won it with a six. What a thriller!
One has to feel for South African fast bowler Dale Steyn, who bowled with a lot of pace and hostility. If at all the home team had a chance, it was due to his efforts. It was an exceptional spell of fast bowling by Steyn. It was a pity that he ended on the losing side. He took 3/12 in four overs including one wicket-maiden over. He kept Deccan in the game by bowling a fine 19th over, just conceding six runs.
The fourth over of the innings and Steyn's second was superb. It was a maiden where he got rid of his compatriot Richard Levi with a perfect yorker which was bowled at 147.5 kmph.
Mumbai's chase was helped by Kieron Pollard, who hit three sixes in 18-ball 24.
Earlier, Munaf was excellent with the ball as he finished with figures of 4/20 in four overs. Lasith Malinga took 3/27 and Kieron Pollard had 2/33 to put Mumbai ahead at the break.
Munaf dismissed Parthiv Patel, Bharat Chipli, Daniel Christian and captain Kumar Sangakkara.
Deccan had eight sixes in their innings but none they could not post a big total as Mumbai bowlers never allowed them to continue the momentum.
First it was Shikhar Dhawan who showed aggressive intent. He smashed four sixes and two boundaries en route to a 24-ball 41. Apart from Dhawan, Cameron White (30 not out) and Daniel Christian (39) brought out the big hits and Sangakkara made 14.
It was only these four batsmen who got into double figures and the rest of the line-up collapsed against the opposition bowlers.
There was controversy surrounding Sangakkara"s dismissal as he was initially given not out when he was clearly bowled. This happened on the third ball of the 13th over.
Square-leg umpire Johan Cloete of South Africa thought that the ball had ricocheted of wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik"s pads and then disturbed the stumps. In spite of Mumbai players" insisting for Cloete to checking with the third umpire, the South African felt he had made the right call.
After watching the replays, Mumbai players knew it was clearly umpire"s mistake to rule Deccan captain not out. Skipper Harbhajan Singh and Munaf were both agitated and argued with the umpires and forced Cloete to refer the decision to third umpire Kumar
Dharmasena of Sri Lanka. The replays confirmed and in the end the right decision was made.
First the ball hit took Sangakkara"s bat edge and brushed the off stump and went on to hit Karthik"s pads and rebounded again to break the stumps.
Harbhajan got the message from the dugout that the Sri Lanka was bowled. And he did not give up and he was proved right.
Munaf was furious with the other umpire Anil Chaudhary and he showed his anger by throwing the ball to the ground and argued with Chaudhary.
This should be an easy chase for Mumbai but they will be cautious as they had failed against Pune Warriors in their previous game where they had a small target of 130.
Deccan Chargers won the toss and elected to bat first earlier.
The big news is that Sachin Tendulkar is still out injured. "Sachin is going through rehab and he should be fine for next game," said Mumbai Indians' captain Harbhajan Singh.
It is a big boost for Deccan to have their regular captain Kumar Sangakkara back. Cameron White was the skipper in the first game against Chennai Super Kings.
Deccan made three changes, Daniel Harris, TP Sudhindra and Manpreet Gony are out. Sangakkara, Amit Mishra and Anand Rajan take their places.
Mumbai have replaced Suryakumar Yadav with T Suman. That is the only change for the 2011 Champions League winners.
Mumbai will be looking to return to winning ways after being shocked by Pune Warriors in Mumbai on Friday. Mumbai had won the IPL 5 opener against Chennai Super Kings by eight wickets on April 4.
Deccan Chargers lost their opening game here at this venue against Chennai Super Kings. It was a 74-run heavy defeat for them where Ravindra Jadeja shone with the ball with five wickets.
Mumbai Indians: Harbhajan Singh (captain), T. Suman, James Franklin, Kieron Pollard, Richard Levi, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Lasith Malinga, Pragyan Ojha, Munaf Patel, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu.
Deccan Chargers: Kumar Sangakkara (captain), Cameron White, Shikhar Dhawan, Parthiv Patel, Dale Steyn, Anand Rajan, Bharat Chipli, Daniel Christian, Dwaraka Ravi Teja, Amit Mishra, Ankit Sharma.
Umpires: Anil Chowdhury (India) and Johan Cloete (South Africa)
TV Umpire: Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka)
Match Referee: Graeme Labrooy (Sri Lanka)