Kolkata: Mumbai Indians held their nerves during the death overs as they beat defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders by five wickets in a thrilling contest in the Pepsi Indian Premier League, here Wednesday.
It couldn't have been a better 40th birthday gift for Sachin Tendulkar as MI chased down a 160-run target with a ball to spare as they got back to winning ways after back-to-back defeats against Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils.
Dwayne Smith smashed a 45-ball-62 to create a launchpad for this significant victory for the 'Men In Blue' as Rohit Sharma (34) and Kieron Pollard (33) also chipped in with
For defending champions KKR, this was their fifth defeat and their campaign is slowly turning from bad to worse as they stay on four points from seven games compared to MI's eight points.
KKR's 'Go-To' Man Rajat Bhatia came in to bowl the final over with 10 runs required and immediately removed the dangerous Pollard.
But Harbhajan Singh compensated for his poor show with the ball as he blasted the Delhi veteran over deep mid-wicket which proved to be a decisive blow in the end. With two to get off two balls, Ambati Rayudu hit one over extra cover to close the match.
Tendulkar's (2) hopes of getting big score on his birthday were dashed by 'Mystery Man' Sunil Narine (3/17) who bowled a perfect off-break which breached through the senior pro's defence to knock the middle-stump back.
Dinesh Karthik (7) got a raw deal as the delivery from Sachitra Senanayeke (1/50) looked like going past leg-stump but the glovesman was adjudged leg-before. While Narine was consistent as usual, Senanayeke had a bad day in office as he bowled too many loose deliveries.
Smith however went ahead unflustered by the situation as he singled out left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla for special treatment. Four of his five sixes were hit off Abdulla in the region between deep mid-wicket and long-on.
Smith completed his half-century off 34 balls and Narine finally got him as substitute Brendon McCullum held onto the catch after initially fumbling. The West Indian scored 62 off 45 balls with three fours and five sixes.
Stand-in captain Rohit Sharma (34, 28 balls, 1x4, 2x6) and Pollard added an even 50 in six overs before Narine got his third scalp when Sharma gave a simple return catch as he closed the face of his bat. But MI kept their cool in the end to finish as victors.