MUMBAI: Dwayne Smith emerged as an unlikely hero for Mumbai Indians as he smashed a six and two fours off the last three balls to secure a sensational two-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings in their Indian Premier League match on Sunday.
Chasing 174, Mumbai needed 16 runs off the last over, bowled by pacer Bel Hilfenhaus, and equation became 14 off the last three balls as the Australian castled Lasith Malinga off the second ball and conceded one run in the next ball.
Smith hit a towering six over long-on in the fourth ball and reeled off two conseutive fours to snatch the win for the hosts in a match, in which fortunes fluctuated like a pendulum.
Sachin Tendulkar (74) slammed his first half-century of the season and shared a 126-run stand with Rohit Sharma (60) to lay the foundation for the win but regular strikes brought Chennai back in the match.
Chennai had put up a challenging 173 for eight after being invited to bat as their top and middle-order batsmen batted superbly with Murali Vijay top-scoring with his 41.
Mumbai were handsomely placed at 144 for one in the 16th over before Chennai stormed back in splendid style to reduce the home team to 159 for 8 with four balls left.
The wicket of Tendulkar, who struck 11 fours and a six in his excellent innings, triggered the collapse as seven wickets fell for just 15 runs which almost put Mumbai on the brink of defeat.
West Indian Smith pulled it around with his splendid, unbeaten 24 in 9 balls, that included 2 sixes and as many fours.
Tendulkar and Rohit's partnership had virtually looked to have sealed Chennai's fate on a splendid batting track before the sensational collapse.
The duo had cut to size the Chennai attack that looked clueless on how to stop the rampaging second wicket pair. Rohit hit eight boundaries, including two sixes.
Tendulkar departed in the 16th over, caught brilliantly at short extra cover by Francois du Plessis off R Ashwin when 30 runs were needed and what appeared to be a comfortable task became difficult with a spate of wickets including that of Rohit in the 18th over.
The mayhem began when Dwayne Bravo castled Dinesh karthik (11) and Ravindra Jadeja struck twice in the 18th over to remove Ambati Rayudu (0) and Rohit.
In the end their third straight victory boosted Mumbai's tally to 14 and placed them one point adrift of second-placed Kolkata Knight Riders.
Earlier, a flying start by Murali Vijay and some commendable knocks from the middle order steered Chennai Super Kings to a challenging 173/8 against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.
Vijay hooked Munaf when the bowler pitched it short for a six over square leg. He later smote the bowler for a lofted four and then two successive sixes over the mid-wicket region with utter disdain.
His belligerence helped the visitors race to 46 in five overs with Plessis playing second fiddle.
A terrible piece of misunderstanding between the Chennai openers helped Mumbai dismiss Plessis when he was sent back by Vijay following a push to mid-on but was beaten by RP Singh's direct hit at the bowler end stumps.
Singh thus made amends for a terrible piece of fielding earlier when he dropped a sitter off Plessis off Munaf Patel.
Chennai then lost Vijay to a piece of indiscreet shot-making. The opener tried a heave Singh when he came back for a second spell and was bowled comprehensively off the fourth ball after the end of power play.
Harbhajan brought himself on into the attack soon after the fall of these two wickets in the space of 9 balls and restricted the run-scoring along with R P Singh.
Super Kings could add only 30 runs between the sixth and tenth overs to be 72 for 2 after ten.
Raina ran quick singles with his partner Bravo during the 62-run partnership for the third wicket, and also struck a few lusty hits to pep up the scoring rate. He slammed West Indian Dwayne Smith for two sixes over the long on region.
But the left-handed batsman departed to a poor shot, slashing the first ball bowled by left-arm James Franklin to backward point where Singh took a splendid catch.
At the end of the 15th over the Super Kings were 123 for 3 before Dhoni took 15 runs off the next over from Peterson, that included a six over long on which struck the glass pane of the press enclosure and a four.
Bravo carted Munaf for a huge straight-field six into the packed stands before losing his stump to a Malinga swinging Yorker in the 18th over.
Dhoni was dismissed via a catch just inside the rope by Rohit Sharma off R P Singh in the penultimate over and Albie Morkel too fell to the left-arm pacer off the last ball of the same over.
Malinga then applied further brakes with the wickets of Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin in the last over of the innings.