Rohit Sharma smashed a towering six in the very last ball to steer Mumbai Indians to a dramatic five-wicket victory against Deccan Chargers in a nerve-wrecking IPL match on Monday.
Chasing 139 for victory, Mumbai looked like losing their second consecutive match before being saved by the heroics of Rohit who remained unbeaten on 73 which he made from 50 balls with the help of four fours and five sixes.
Mumbai needed 19 runs from the dramatic last over bowled by Daniel Christian and Rohit hit two sixes, including off the last ball to script a sensational victory at the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy Cricket Stadium.
James Franklin hit a four off the first ball of the last over and Rohit hit a six before he scampered home with a full-length dive in the penultimate ball for a double. Mumbai needed four from the last ball for a win and Rohit hit a six, triggering wild celebrations at the Mumbai dressing room.
Deccan seemed to have pocketed their first win of the tournament in their second match with South African pacer Dale Steyn (3-12) bowling with fire and accuracy.
The match was, however, marred by controversy with Mumbai captain Harbhajan Singh having a heated and prolonged argument with the field umpires.
The incident happened in the 13th over of Deccan Chargers innings with Sangakkara clearly out off the bowling of Munaf though the field umpires AK Chowdhury of India and JD Cloete of South Africa thought it otherwise initially.
Sangakkara dragged the ball onto the off-stump with the bails dislodged and the ball hit wickets for the second time after ricocheting from Mumbai wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik.
A heated argument followed between Harbhajan and the field umpires with Munaf joining in and play stopped for more than five minutes. Harbhajan was seen arguing with the umpires in an aggressive manner, apparently telling them why they did not refer the decision to the third umpire.
The field umpires, who apparently thought the ball hit wickets after coming off from Karthik's pads, eventually referred the decision to the third umpire who gave Sangakkara out as expected.
Bowling with the deadly combination of pace and accuracy, Steyn reduced Mumbai to 10/2 in the fourth over. He had opener TL Suman (5) caught and bowled in the second over with a superb show of reflex action.
Steyn stuck his hand out and plucked the ball in the air after Suman tried to punch the ball straight past the bowler.
Two overs later, Steyn bowled Richard Levi (3) in an outstanding maiden over in which he mixed up express deliveries before delivering a swinging yorker which flummoxed the batsman to find his middle stump cartwheeling. Steyn's first two overs figures read 2-1-6-2.
With Steyn on fire, Mumbai crawled to 49 for two at the half-way mark but with Rohit still batting they had their hopes of surpassing the target intact.
Rohit shared 48 runs for the third wicket with Ambati Rayudu from 7.2 overs before the latter fell to leg-spinner Amit Mishra. Rayudu (19) pulled a Mishra delivery over fine leg but mistimed it to hole out to Dhawan near the boundary ropes.
West Indian Kieron Pollard briefly showed a glimpse of his potential destructive batting with an 18-ball 24 with the help of three sixes.
Pollard failed once again without scoring big while trying to push up the run rate which had risen above 11 by then. Daniel Christian had Pollard caught at deep mid-off with a low full toss with the ball ballooning high up the dark sky before falling on the safe hands of Dhawan.
Mumbai needed 37 runs from the last three overs and Rohit hit two sixes off Amit Sharma to take 14 runs from the 18th over. Rohit reached his fifty in style with the first six off Mishra. He took 41 balls for his fifty with the help of four fours and two sixes.
But Steyn struck again in the penultimate over with the wicket of Dinesh Karthik (7) who dragged the ball from outside off onto his left toe and deflected it on to his stumps.
Earlier, Munaf Patel grabbed four wickets as Mumbai restricted Deccan for 138 for nine.
Munaf bowled his usual accurate and wicket-to-wicket line which fetched him 4-20 as Deccan failed to build sustained momentum in their innings after they opted to bat first.
Munaf got able support from Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga who bagged three wickets for 27 runs while Kieron Pollard chipped in with two wickets.
For Deccan, who lost their opening match against Chennai Super Kings on April 7 by 74 runs at the home venue here, Shikhar Dhawan top-scored with a rollicking 24-ball 41 and Daniel Christian chipping in with 39.
Deccan were bolstered by the presence of their captain Sangakkara who reached in time from his national duty but the side struggled with two wickets down within four overs.
Parthiv Patel (1) and Bharat Chipli (1) fell cheaply with Munaf scalping both the batsmen and Deccan Chargers fell to build any momentum. It was left to Shikhar Dhawan to produce the fireworks which was lacking till then.
The batsman from Delhi struck four sixes in no time, hoisting Pragyan Ojha twice, Munaf and Lasith Malinga once each for the maximum result. But he had also to depart in the seventh over at a time Deccan were picking up the run rate.
The sixth over bowled by Ojha yielded 18 runs but next over Dhawan fell for 41 which he made from 24 balls with the help of two fours and four sixes. He was caught at extra cover while trying to hoick a slower delivery from Malinga over the bowler's head.
The ball took the leading edge and it swirled in the air for Pollard to take a good catch.
The on-field drama in 13th over dampened the atmosphere but Deccan pushed ahead with Cameron White and Daniel Christian hitting a few sixes before perishing in a heap.
Christian was dismissed by Munaf for 39 in the 18th over and four Deccan wickets fell in the last two overs - two each in 19th and 20th overs - in their bid to get maximum runs.
Malinga claimed the wickets of Ravi Teja (4) and Amit Mishra (0) while Pollard bagged the scalps of Dale Steyn (2) and Ankit Sharma (1).