Sharma the hero as Deccan grab last-ball victory
JOHANNESBURG : Deccan Chargers climbed one place to third in the Indian Premier League table after a thrilling six-wicket win over struggling Kolkata Knight Riders at Wanderers Saturday.
Kolkata made 160-5 after they lost the toss and were sent in to bat and Deccan reached 166-4 off the last ball of their 20 overs, handing bottom team Kolkata their 10th loss of the tournament.
Deccan captain Adam Gilchrist and Herschelle Gibbs combined in a 68-run opening partnership as the Chargers took another step closer to the semi-finals.
Gilchrist thumped Mashrafe Mortaza for successive sixes in the second over and eventually got a top edge to deep square leg trying to sweep Brad Hodge.
But his 43 off 31 deliveries got Deccan off to a speedy start in their run chase.
Gibbs was the next to go, contributing 28 off 34, and Tirumalsetti Suman followed with 31 from 24.
Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds added a cameo 18 off 13 balls, and Rohit Sharma, who hit an unbeaten 32 from 13 balls and smashed Mortaza for six off the last ball to win the game, guided them home.
"Rohit played some great innings last year and to see him stand up like this was amazing," Gilchrist said. "We?re back here tomorrow and hopefully we?ll be fresh for that match."
Earlier, Kolkata opening batsman Sourav Ganguly had shared 55 runs with Brad Hodge for the second wicket.
Ganguly made 33 off 41 balls before being removed by Ishant Sharma in the 15th over and Hodge was dismissed three overs later after contributing 48 from 41 deliveries.
Following their departures, David Hussey smashed 43 runs off only 17 balls with two fours and four sixes.
Ryan Harris led the Deccan attack, bagging the scalps of McCullum and Hodge for a 2-20 return.