Mumbai: The cliff-hanger was a reminder of one of those matches where Tendulkar played a match-winning knock and brought his team in a winning position and as soon as he perished, the tide turned to the other side. But Dwayne Smith didn’t let the legend down.
Mumbai needed 14 runs of the last three balls and Dwayne Smith produced magical figures of 6,4,4 off them to clinch a spectacular win for his side at the Wankhede Stadium.
Ben Hilfenhaus stood stunned after his follow through as jubilant Mumbai Indians players erupted with joy and came running to the field in front of a maddening Wankhede crowd.
Mumbai needed 16 runs from the last over and Dhoni threw the ball at experienced Hilfenhaus who bowled a maiden first over for the defending champions. Smith who struck a crucial six in the penultimate over smashed the first ball towards long-off for a single. Malinga was the man on strike and he was taken by Hilfenhaus’ pace as he perished for a first ball duck. The crowd went dead with that dismissal and faces drooped down in the Mumbai dugout.
RP Singh was the new batsman and he managed to get Smith back on strike with a single towards cover. Smith injected life into the crowd and his team-mates with a six over long on with extreme power. The next ball was bludgeoned over the bowlers head for another boundary. Smith had gained confidence and Hilfenhaus missed a yorker off the last ball as a bullet shot by Smith produced another boundary towards long-off that made the crowd go berserk.
After a mediocre performance in the tournament so far, Chennai Super Kings did well to score 173 runs. Murali Vijay who was back to some form in the previous outing, hit some brutal blows to get Chennai off to a flyer. He began the innings with a boundary and smashed Munaf Patel for three sixes and a boundary in the fifth over. CSK’s run-machine for this season Faf du Plessis could not continue his good form as he was run-out off a direct hit from RP Singh in the sixth over. RP Singh had dropped du Plessis when he was batting on 4 and compensated for that error by sending him back to the pavilion.
Vijay scored 41 runs from 29 balls before being bowled by Singh. Suresh Raina (36) continued his good form with the bat as he added crucial 62 runs with Dwayne Bravo who looked very impressive during his 33-ball 50. Dhoni too contributed with the bat as he scored 25 from 15 balls. With useful contributions from most of the batsmen, Dhoni’s men scored 173 runs at the end of 20 overs which was a very good score.
Apart from the dropped catch, RP Singh had a huge role to play for Mumbai Indians. He not only picked up three crucial wickets but also took a blinder at point to dismiss Raina who was looking very dangerous.
Mumbai Innings didn’t get off to a good start as Franklin played a maiden over and was dismissed in the third over for just 1 run. Tendulkar was joined by Rohit Sharma (60 from 46) and both of them hit fabulous shots all across the ground to match up with the required run-rate. Tendulkar (74 from 44) in particular led from the front as he regularly charged down the track to score boundaries on his home turf. He was dismissed in the 15th over when du Plessis took a blinder, but Mumbai looked in comfortable position that time needing 41 runs from 25 balls with 8 wickets in hand.
Mumbai lost the next 6 wickets for just 25 runs as they slumped from 134/2 to 159/8. Such was their collapse that Rayudu, Harbhajan, Peterson and Malinga could not even open their accounts. It was all left to Smith who pulled off a miraculous victory for the home team.
As wickets fell at regular intervals and Mumbai needed 16 off the last over, Dhoni’s team might have thought that they have managed to end their losing streak. But it was Dwayne Smith’s incredible 9-ball 24 that that produced one of the most sensational chases we have seen in this year’s IPL.