MUMBAI: Dwayne Smith emerged as an unlikely hero for Mumbai Indians as he smashed a six and two fours off the last three balls to secure a sensational two-wicket victory over Chennai Super Kings in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match here today.
Chasing 174, Mumbai needed 16 runs off the last over, bowled by pacer Bel Hilfenhaus, and equation became 14 off the last three balls as the Australian castled Lasith Malinga off the second ball and conceded one run in the next ball.
Smith hit a towering six over long-on in the fourth ball and reeled off two conseutive fours to snatch the win for the hosts in a match, in which fortunes fluctuated like a pendulum. Sachin Tendulkar (74) slammed his first half-century of the season and shared a 126-run stand with Rohit Sharma (60) to lay the foundation for the win but regular strikes brought Chennai back in the match.
Chennai had put up a challenging 173-8 after being invited to bat as their top and middle-order batsmen batted superbly with Murali Vijay top-scoring with his 41.
Mumbai were handsomely placed at 144-1 in the 16th over before Chennai stormed back in splendid style to reduce the home team to 159-8 with four balls left. The wicket of Tendulkar, who struck 11 fours and a six in his excellent innings, triggered the collapse as seven wickets fell for just 15 runs which almost put Mumbai on the brink of defeat.
West Indian Smith pulled it around with his splendid, unbeaten 24 in nine balls, that included two sixes and as many fours. Tendulkar and Rohit's partnership had virtually looked to have sealed Chennai's fate on a splendid batting track before the sensational collapse.
The duo had cut to size the Chennai attack that looked clueless on how to stop the rampaging second wicket pair. Rohit hit eight boundaries, including two sixes.
Earlier, a flying start by Murali Vijay (41) and some commendable knocks from the middle order steered Chennai Super Kings to a challenging 173-8 against Mumbai Indians.