Hyderabad, Apr 15: Hardik Pandya produced a sensational late cameo of 37 not out off just 16 balls as he guided Mumbai Indians to a five-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in an IPL match here on Monday.
Chasing 172 for a win, the match was in a balance when he came out in the 16th over but Hardik, who was named in India's World Cup squad on Monday, turned the game on its head, smashing five boundaries and two sixes during his unconquered 16-ball innings on a turning track at the Wankhede Stadium.
Mumbai needed 22 runs from the last two overs but Hardik took just six balls to hit the required runs, smashing left-arm spinner Pawan Negi for two boundaries and as may sixes to end the run chase.
He finished the game with a single off the last ball of the 19th over as Mumbai reached 172 for 5 in 19 overs.
This was Mumbai's fifth win in eight games and they are now at third spot with 10 points, while RCB suffered their seventh defeat in eight matches and the Virat Kohli-led team are languishing at the bottom of the table.
Earlier, veteran Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga took four wickets for 31 runs as Mumbai restricted RCB to 171 for 7.
Mumbai were off to a flying start in their run chase with openers Rohit Sharma (28) and Quinton de Kock (40) finding the boundaries with ease.
De Kock took 16 runs from the third over bowled by Umesh Yadav, smashing two boundaries and a six while captain Rohit was elegant as ever, hitting a four and a six off Mohammed Siraj the next over.
Mumbai were wallopping at 67 for no loss at the end of first powerplay overs but suddenly off-spinner Moeen Ali (2/28) brought RCB back into the match with a two-wicket burst in a single over.
The Englishman removed the two set openers Rohit and de Kock in the space of four deliveries in the eighth over. Rohit was done in a by a delivery which turned viciously from the offside while de Kock was plumbed in front as he was beaten by a delivery which skidded instead of turning and Mumbai were 71 for 2 in 7.4 overs.
Ishan Kishan (21) came out and nonchalantly smashed two sixes off Negi before he fell to Yuzvendra Chahal (2/27), stumped by Parthiv Patel.
The Mumbai run chase started stuttering and with the pitch turning, Suryakumar Yadav (29) and Krunal Pandya (11) was finding it difficult to get the boundaries.
Play was hold up for a few minutes in the 13th over with Chahal seemingly having some problem on his little finger but he returned to bowl his fourth over and had the wicket of Suryakumar who holed out to Navdeep Saini near the boundary.
Hardik was nearly out in the 17th over but it was his elder brother Krunal who was out in the next over off the bowling of Mohammed Siraj. It was then left to Hardik to take Mumbai to victory in a dramatic fashion.
Earlier, AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali hit impressive half centuries to guide Royal Challengers Bangalore to a respectable 171 for 7 after being put into bat.
After RCB lost skipper Virat Kohli (8 off 9 balls) and Parthiv Patel (28 off 20 balls) inside seven overs, de Villiers (75 in 51 balls) along with Ali (50 runs in 32 balls) resurrected the innings with a 95-run stand for the third wicket.
The South African star stamped his authority, hammering six fours and four sixes, as he completed his half century in 41 balls. Ali was a little bit more aggressive than de Villiers as he hit five sixes and a lone boundary as the two took the MI attack to cleaners.
Ali initially played second fiddle but later upped the ante. He was particularly severe on Australian pacer Jason Behrendoff (1/49), whom he hit two sixes and a four in the 16th over, which fetched 17 runs for RCB.
De Villiers, who took time to settle, then showed his class, as he hit round the park.
However, veteran Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Maliga (4/31) pegged the visiting side back by removing Ali and Marcus Stonis (0) in the 18th over and taking two wickets in the final over. De Villiers was run out in the final over off a brilliant throw from long-on.
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Chennai, Apr 23: Shane Watson brought back memories of last year's IPL final with a blazing knock that has now almost ensured a play-off berth for Chennai Super Kings as they beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets here Tuesday.
On a vastly improved Chepauk track, Watson roared back to form with an 96 off 53 balls as CSK stuttered a bit in end before winning in 19.5 overs.
Watson's innings studded with nine fours and half a dozen of sixes ensured that CSK have reached the cut-off limit of 16 points needed for the play-off even though they would like to finish in the top two.
Watson's innings would also be a relief for skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who had urged the top order to finish matches.
A 77-run stand between Watson and Suresh Raina (38) created the platform and the former Australia all-rounder singlehandedly decimated the Sunrisers attack.
What made it more difficult for the Sunrisers was the fact that their strike bowler Rashid Khan was pulverised by Watson, who took him to the cleaners with 44 coming off his spell.
Sandeep Sharma was another bowler, who was handed severe punishment as he went for 54 in 3.5 overs. Sandeep repeatedly bowled short and Watson would gleefully pull him. Skipper Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/18 in 4 overs) had no option but to bowl the 19th over and left Sandeep with nine runs to defend.
However Kedar Jadhav literally finished the match with a six off the second ball that sealed the deal.
Earlier, the immensely talented Manish Pandey was back in his element as his unbeaten 83 off 49 balls powered Sunrisers Hyderabad to a fighting 175 for 3 after being put into bat.
Pandey and league's current leading run-scorer David Warner (57 off 45 balls) added 115 runs for the second wicket to lay the foundation for a decent score on what was the best batting track on offer at the Chepauk.
Veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh struck an early blow, having the in-form Jony Bairstow caught behind in the second over for a duck.
He was the most successful bowler with figures of 2 for 39 in four overs while Deepak Chahar picked up the wicket of Vijay Shankar (26 off 20 balls).
Despite the early dismissal of Bairstow, the visiting team didn't get tied down as the irrepressible Warner and Manish Pandey kept hitting those boundaries and sixes. They brought up the team's 50 in the sixth over.
Pandey who has not been in the best form, hit his straps, scoring freely and was not afraid to go over the top. Dhoni's shuffling of the bowlers didn't make much of an impact as Warner and Pandey kept attacking.
Pandey was the first to reach 50 in 25 balls, pulling one from Dwayne Bravo for a boundary.
Warner was a touch slower in comparison to Pandey, but didn't miss out when the opportunity presented itself and hit a couple of big sixes.
The pugnacious Warner fell against the run of play, victim of Dhoni's trademark lightning quick stumping off a Harbhajan delivery. The Australian, who is leading the run charts this season, fell for 57 (45 balls, 3x4, 2X6) after adding 115 runs for the second wicket with Pandey.