x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Rohit Sharma's six off last ball gives Mumbai Indians IPL win

Mumbai score 21 off the last over to pick up their second win of the competition at the expense of the Deccan Chargers.

Rohit Sharma celebrates guiding the Mumbai Indians to victory over the Deccan Chargers.
Rohit Sharma celebrates guiding the Mumbai Indians to victory over the Deccan Chargers.

Rohit Sharma credited keeping cool as being the key to hitting a six off the final ball to complete an astonishing fightback from the Mumbai Indians last night in the Indian Premier League.

For long stages of their run chase they had looked out of it against the Deccan Chargers as they struggled to score quickly as they chased a target of 139 to win.

Excellent bowling by Dale Steyn (three for 12) had ensured that Mumbai were always behind the run rate, and they required an imposing 18 off the last over to triumph.

After James Franklin had taken six runs off Daniel Christian's first two balls through a boundary and a two, a leg bye off the third ball got Rohit on strike.

He hammered the fourth ball over point for a six, before surviving a run out appeal after sprinting two off the penultimate delivery to leave three required off the final ball.

Rohit, who had held the Mumbai innings together from the start, kept his nerve as he clubbed a full toss from Christian over long-on for a maximum to finish on 73 not out and spark his side's celebrations.

Of the successful run chase, Rohit, said: "The idea was to stay calm. That is what I have been doing for India.

"When Franklin came in, we needed 19 runs in the last over. I knew we could do it in the end. The dive on the second last ball was what saved us.

"We needed this win very badly. We lost the second game and needed to win this to gain momentum."

The victory was important for Mumbai, who had underwhelmed with the bat in defeat to the Pune Warriors on Friday.

A similar batting collapse had looked on the cards when Steyn dismissed both openers Tirumalasetti Suman (5) and Richard Levi (3) with only 10 runs on the board.

But Rohit rebuilt the innings, putting on 48 with Ambati Rayudu (19) for the third wicket and then 37 with Kieron Pollard (24) for the fourth wicket.

But the accuracy of Steyn kept Mumbai in check and it looked as if a second loss was on the cards until Sharma's late heroics.

Deccan had got off to a flying start in their innings thanks to Shikhar Dhawan. The opener struck 41 off just 24 balls, including four sixes, before he holed out to Pollard off Lasith Malinga's bowling.

Christian (39) and Cameron White (30 not out) pushed the home side to 138 for nine, despite Munaf Patel finishing with four for 20 from an impressive spell.

Harbhajan Singh, the Mumbai captain, was relieved to triumph.

"We were right under the target," he said.

"We knew that the boundaries were short and later on the bowlers would be under pressure. We have got the batsmen who can clear any boundaries. We should have finished it a little earlier"

A disappointed Kumar Sangakkara, the Deccan captain, said: "We were probably 15-20 runs short. Rohit batted brilliantly for Mumbai."

* Agency