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A fabulous unbeaten 73 off 50 balls saw the Mumbai Indians sneak home in a thriller against the Deccan Chargers on Monday night. In what was a last ball finish, Rohit Sharma held his nerve brilliantly to win the game for his side with a fairy tale six off Daniel Christian. Deccan Chargers opting to bat first, posted a competitive 138/9 in their 20 overs on the back of a good innings from Shikhar Dhawan 41 (24) and some good support show from Christian (39). Mumbai were rocked early by a brilliant bowling effort from speedster Dale Steyn (3/12) only to be saved by a fantastic innings from Rohit Sharma, who kept his cool under a lot of pressure to see his side home.
The Mumbai Indians traveled to Vizag on Monday night to face hosts Deccan Chargers in their third game of IPL season 5, looking to get back on track after losing to the Pune Warriors in their previous game. The Deccan Chargers welcomed back skipper Kumar Sangakkara in their ranks and he started off on an auspicious note by winning the toss and opting to bat first. Daniel Harris gave way for the skipper while Manpreet Gony who was carted for 56 runs the other night was dropped for medium pacer Anand Rajan and TP Sudhindra made way for India leg spinner Amit Mishra. With Sachin Tendulkar still nursing his finger injury, the Mumbai Indians experimented once again with the opening slot by giving a game to Hyderabadi Tirmualsetti Suman in place of Surya Kumar Yadav.
After opting to bat first, the Deccan Chargers started poorly. Opener Parthiv Patel departed early for just 1, nicking one to Rohit Sharma off Munaf Patel in just the second over of the match. The ploy to use Munaf with the new ball paid further dividends as he struck again in the next over, having Bharat Chipli caught at mid-on also for 1. The other opener Shikhar Dhawan then took it upon himself to get the innings moving and took the attack to Mumbai. He initially struck 2 sixes with great timing, one each off Munaf and Lasith Malinga before launching into Ojha in his first over, clobbering him for 2 sixes and a four to end the powerplay. Thanks to that fiery show from Dhawan, Deccan were motoring at 45/2 after 6 overs.
Mumbai hit back again right at the end of the Powerplay as Shikhar Dhawan fell to Malinga, caught at extra cover by Pollard after making an exhilarating 41 that included 4 huge sixes. Kumar Sangakkara then walked in at No.5 and went about resurrecting the innings with Dan Christian. Although the left hander, made just 14, he added 36 valuable runs with Christian who looked in good touch. Sangakkara departed, bowled by Munaf Patel but the Chargers' innings was given some much needed impetus by Cameron White. The Aussie pair added 51 runs in just 33 deliveries with some power hitting to get DC on course to a competitive total. Mumbai's best bowler on the day, Munaf Patel then broke another crucial stand to take his fifth of the game by dismissing Christian for a well made 39.
That was the opening that Malinga needed as he picked up two wickets in his final over to stop the charge. He got DB Ravi Teja (4) and Amit Mishra (0) bowled at the death to keep Mumbai in the hunt. At the end of 20 eventful overs the Chargers posted a below par 138/9 largely due to a mini collapse at the death.
Mumbai's pursuit of 139 was rocked early by Dale Steyn, who was on fire in his first spell. He first removed Tirumalsetti Suman (5) with a superb one handed reflex catch off his own bowling and then followed it up with a peach of a maiden over to Richard Levi (3) before eventually castling him with brilliant yorker at 147kph to have Mumbai reeling at 11/2. Mumbai's established pair of Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu got the innings rolling with some runs off the relatively easier bowling of Dan Christian and Anand Rajan. After 6 overs, Mumbai were 29/2 in pursuit of a dicey 139.
Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma continued MI's recovery after the powerplay and looked to get Mumbai close to the target. The 47 run stand though ended prematurely as Rayudu (19) pulled a long hop straight to long leg off Mishra in the 12th over. With over 9 runs per over needed, big Trinidadian Kieron Pollard walked out and struck 3 mighty sixes to up the run rate. He couldn't quite finish it off as he ended up making 24 off 18 before scooping a low full toss to deep mid off.
With 44 needed off 22 balls, Dinesh Karthik hit one boundary in his brief innings of 7, but crucially added 25 runs for the 5th wicket with Rohit before perishing bowled by Steyn. Rohit at the other end set himself up for the slog and smacked two huge sixes off Mishra in to keep Mumbai in the hunt. Steyn' s last over costed just 8 which left Rohit and James Franklin with 16 to get off the last over.
Franklin got a boundary and a bye off the first two balls from Christian to leave Rohit with 12 to get off 3. Rohit Sharma was cool as a cucumber under pressure and despite getting a slice of luck with a close run out call on the penultimate ball, struck two sixes - one over point and the other over deep long on off the last ball to get Mumbai home in a thriller.
That fantastic unbeaten innings from Rohit Sharma saw the Mumbai Indians home in their game against the Deccan Chargers in Vizag, a win that has definitely restored the confidence in this tremendously talented camp. Mumbai will face the rampant Rajasthan Royals next at home on 11th April while the gutted Deccan Chargers will look to set things right when they take on the Royals too next, after a week long hiatus on the 17th of April.
DC: S Dhawan, P Patel, K Sangakkara, C White, B Chipli, D Christian, DB Ravi Teja, A sharma, A Rajan, D Steyn, A Mishra
MI: T Suman, R Levi, A Rayudu, R Sharma, D Karthik, K Pollard, J Franklin, H Singh, L Malinga, M Patel, P Ojha
Deccan Chargers 138/9 (20 overs, 6.9rpo)
S Dhawan 41(24) M Patel 4/20
D Christian 39(36) L Maling 3/27
Mumbai Indians 142/5 (20 overs, 7.1rpo)
R Sharma 73*(50) D Steyn 3/12
K Pollard 24(18) A Mishra 1/31
Mumbai win by 5 wickets
File Photograph Copyright: ICC World T20
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