Visakhapatnam, Apr 10: It was deja vu for Australian bowler Daniel Christian on Monday night as he was smashed for a final-ball six by Rohit Sharma to give Mumbai Indians a thrilling five-wicket victory in Game 9 of IPL 5 at the ACA-VDCA Stadium.
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Deccan Chargers' Christian will sure have nightmares of batsmen hitting him for a six on the final ball of the match. He might stay away for some time from bowling the last over of the match. Captains will also think twice before throwing the ball in pressure situation.
Christian will remember that night on October 5, 2011 at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. He was in a red jersey unlike blue this time on April 9 night. Replace Rohit with Arun Karthik of Royal Challengers Bangalore. Christian was playing for his home side South Australia Redbacks in the Champions League Twenty20 tournament.
The equation: RCB need six to win off the final ball. Here comes Christian. He delivers a slower ball. Karthik waits and waits. Then shapes up to dispatch the ball in the stands on the leg-side, the home crowd erupts. Christian is devastated so are his team-mates on the field and in the dressing room. RCB players are in jubilation. What a win it was. He had to defend 14 runs on that night. The loss for South Australia put them out of the competition.
Exactly six months and four days later, Christian has to go through the same agonising experience. This time the 28-year-old Christian was entrusted with the task of saving 18 runs. In any match, you would give the bowler a great chance to come on top with three runs required off each ball. But there was Rohit to spoil Christian and the Deccan party. Mumbai needed three off the final ball. In came Christian, it was not a slower ball like the previous one in Bangalore. This time he went for a yorker, he missed and turned out to be a full toss. Rohit accepted gleefully and deposited into the long-on stands. Christian would thought, not again.
India's former paceman Chetan Sharma too was handed a similar fate in Sharjah by Pakistan batsman Javed Miandad in the Austral-Asia Cup final on April 18, 1986. Chetan too had bowled a full toss and Miandad smashed it over the ropes. Even to this day, Indian fans talk about that game and still hold Chetan responsible for India's defeat.
This game is cruel some times and Christian will take few days to overcome this setback. And also the thousands of home fans of Deccan.