Kolkata, April 25 (IANS) Dwayne Smith came up with a dazzling knock to carry Mumbai Indians to a thrilling five-wicket win off the penultimate delivery over holders Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens here Wednesday.
With 10 runs needed of the last six balls, the Knights turned to pacer Rajat Bhatia, who got out Kieron Pollard 33 (24b 2×4 1×6) with a slower delivery.
Ambati Rayudu had a narrow escape soon after, as he almost holed out to Tiwary.
But Harbhajan Singh dashed the Knights’ hopes clobbering Bhatia for six over long on. With just two needed of the last two balls, Rayudu hit a four over covers to take his team home.
Replying to the sizeable KKR total of 159, Mumbai Indian opener Dwayne Smith (62;45b 3×4 5×6) carted the bowlers all-around, but birthday boy Tendulkar (2) disappointed the sell-out crowd as he departed cheaply when Sachitra Senanayeke broke through his defences in the fifth over. Ever since the maestro had come out to bat, the crowd had been cheering his every move.
Meanwhile, Smith continued in his murderous mood slaughtering the bowlers and hitting boundaries and sixes at will.
Dinesh Karthik (7,6b,1×4) departed cheaply, before the Caribbean batter blazed off to 50 in just 34 balls. But the Knights’ most dangerous bowler Sunil Narine sent Smith home in the 11th over.
Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma then took charge clobbering Senanayeke for two huge sixes to take his team past 100 in the 13th over.
With 34 needed of the last four over and seven wickets in hand, Mumbai were sensing victory, but Narine struck back dismissing Sharma 34 (28b,1×4,2×6) with a return catch.
Earlier, the home side’s innings was woven around some decent partnerships and useful individual contributions – a key element for success in the slam bang format.
None of the batsmen scored a half-century, but three fell in their 30s, while skipper Gambhir got 26 (20b,2×4,1×6).
Opting to bat, KKR began with a bang, scoring 26 off the very first over by Harbhajan Singh. Sent in as an opener, Yusuf Pathan hit three boundaries and a towering six off the first four balls.
However, Pathan (19,6b,3×4,1×6) departed when edged one to the slip in the very next over.
Gambhir, joining hands with all-rounder Jacques Kallis, consolidated the innings. But when both batsmen looked settled left arm spinner Pragyan Ojha struck gold when Gambhir holed out in the covers.
Kallis (37,38b,4×4,0×6) was smartly caught in the covers by Rohit Sharma, the bowler again being Ojha.
Local boy Manoj Tiwary then partnered Eoin Morgan to take the Knights past 100 in the 13th over. Morgan (31,25b,4×4,1×6) perished in the 18th over.
Home boys Tiwary and Debabrata Das found it difficult to get past Malinga’s slinging deliveries in the final over. The Sri Lankan gave away just three runs in the over in which he castled both Tiwary (33,24b,2×4,1×6) and Das (6,7b,1×4), as the Knights managed to set an asking rate of eight per over.
Johnson, Ojha and Malinga took two wickets each.