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Monday, May 18, 2009

Rohit the hero as Chargers grabs last-ball win

JOHANNESBURG: Rohit Sharma hit 22 runs off the final over to carry the Deccan Chargers to a pulsating six-wicket win over the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Saturday.

Rohit, who hit an unbeaten 32 from 13 balls, smashed two sixes in the last over bowled by Bangladeshi seamer Mashrafe Mortaza, the second off the last ball.

Brisk start

Chasing a target of 161, Chargers’ captain Adam Gilchrist and Herschelle Gibbs combined in a 68-run opening partnership as the team took another step closer to the semifinals.

Gilchrist thumped 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 Chargers off to a speedy start in its 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 before Rohit Sharma came up with his heroics.

Skipper’s praise

“Rohit played some great innings last year and to see him stand up like this was amazing,” Gilchrist said.

Earlier, Knight Riders, asked to bat, made 160 for five with opening batsman Sourav Ganguly sharing 55 runs with Brad Hodge for the second wicket.

Ganguly made 33 before being removed by Rohit in the 15th over and Hodge was dismissed three overs later after contributing 48.

Following their departures, David Hussey smashed 43 runs off 17 balls with two fours and four sixes.

Salvaging pride

Disappointed after losing yet another close-battle, the Knight Riders skipper Brenden McCullum was looking at the rest of the matches to salvage some pride for his side.

“It’s disappointing. We will try to win the next couple of games we have. We are trying to be as much positive as we can. You have to keep trying for improvement,” he said.

Rohit, adjudged Man of the Match, confessed that he felt the pressure while Mortaza during the last over.

“Yes, there was some pressure during the last over.

“But I had the belief that we can chase down any target given by opponents,” he said. — Agencies

SCOREBOARD

 Kolkata Knight Riders: B. McCullum c Suman b Harris 20 (18b 1x4, 1x6), S. Ganguly c Harris b Rohit 33 (41b 3x4), B. Hodge c Harmeet b Harris 48 (41b, 5x4), D. Hussey (run out) 43 (17b, 2x4, 4x6), W. Saha c Singh b Symonds 7 (3b, 1x6), M. Mortaza (not out) 2 (2b), A. Agarkar (not out) 0 (0b); Extras (b-1, lb-2, w-2, nb-2): 7; Total (for five wkts. in 20 overs): 160.

Fall of wickets: 1-27, 2-85, 3-117, 4-152, 5-158.

Deccan Chargers bowling: Harris 4-0-20-2, R.P. Singh 3.1-0-30-0, Symonds 4-0-28-1, Harmeet 3.5-0-40-0, Ojha 3-0-24-0, Rohit 2-0-15-1.

Deccan Chargers: A. Gilchrist c sub (Shukla) b Hodge 43 (31b 5x4, 2x6), H. Gibbs c Hussey b Kartik 28 (34b 3x4), T.S. Suman (run out) 31 (24b 3 x4, 1 x6), A. Symonds (run out) 18 (13b, 1x6), R. Sharma (not out) 32 (13b, 3x4, 2x6), Y. Venugopal Rao (not out) 7 (7b); Extras (b-1, lb-2, w-2, nb-2): 7; Total (for four wkts in 20 overs): 166.

Fall of wickets: 1-68, 2-85, 3-116, 4-128.

Kolkata Knight Riders bowling: Ishant 4-0-23-0, Mortaza 4-0-58-0, Kartik 4-0-12-1, Hodge 3-0-23-1, Agarkar 4-0-41-0, Hussey 1-0-6-0.

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