MUMBAI, India, IANS/CMC – Hard-hitting West Indies batsman Dwayne Smith pulled off a stunning last ball win for Mumbai Indians after a fine all-round performance from fellow Windies star Dwayne Bravo had put Chennai Super Kings on course for victory in the Indian Premier League here yesterday.
Chasing 174 for victory, Sachin Tendulkar slammed 74 at the top of the order and Rohit Sharma, 60, in a scintillating 126-run partnership to give Mumbai the upper hand.
It seemed Mumbai would waste that good work when they crashed to 159 for eight with four balls left in the innings and 15 still required for victory.
Smith, however, punished fast bowler Ben Hilfenahus (2-34) for getting the yorkers wrong in the final over and got the required runs off the last three balls, to finish on 24 from nine balls and send the Wankhede Stadium crowd into a frenzy.
The right-hander smashed the fourth ball, a full toss, over long-on for six before hitting another full toss straight down the ground for four off the next delivery.
With Mumbai needing four off the last ball, Smith hammered Hilfenhaus to long off for another boundary to seal a dramatic two-wicket victory.
Interestingly, it was Smith’s first match of IPL season as he only arrived last Thursday as a replacement for injured Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson.
Bravo, who finished with two for 39, had earlier cracked 40 from 33 balls to help Chennai to 173 for eight after they were sent in.
Murali Vijay (41), Suresh Raina (36) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (25) chipped in with decent scores.
Bravo and Raina shared a 62-run stand off 45 balls in the middle overs with the left-handed Raina being the aggressor, hitting three fours and a couple of sixes in his 21-ball cameo.
In Bangalore, controversial West Indies opener Chris Gayle got 26 as his Bangalore Royal Challengers beat Deccan Chargers by five wickets.
With the hosts chasing 182 for victory, Gayle and Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan (71) put on 91 for the first wicket to lay the foundation.