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Rohit’s last-ball 6 wins it for MI

- On-field umpires’ goof-up enrages Harbhajan Singh and his men
Rohit Sharma celebrate with James Franklin, in Visakhapatnam, on Monday

Visakhaptnam: 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 Rohit’s heroics, 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 one off the last ball to script a sensational victory at the Dr Y S 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 (three for 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 A K Chowdhury of India and JD Cloete of South Africa thought otherwise initially.

Sangakkara dragged the ball onto the off-stump with the bails dislodged and the ball hit the wickets for the second time after ricocheting 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.

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 for two in the fourth over. He had opener TL Suman (five) caught and bowled in the second over with a superb show of reflex action.

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.

Pollard failed once again without scoring big while trying to push up the run rate which had risen above 11 by then. 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 four for 20 as Deccan failed to build sustained momentum in their innings after they opted to bat first.