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IPL-V has seen a host of last-ball thrillers...

Royal Challengers Bangalore v Pune Warriors
In yet another photo finish, Bangalore trumped Pune Warriors to end their early season losing streak. In pursuit of 183, Saurabh Tiwary hit a six off the last ball to give the hosts their first win in four matches. Opting to bat, Sourav Ganguly’s Warriors posted 182-6 thanks to solid contributions from top-order batsmen Robin Uthappa (69) and Jesse Ryder (34). Later, Marlon Samuels hit a couple of sixes in a 20-ball innings of 34. RCB started slowly in reply losing Tillakaratne Dilshan (4), Mayank Agarwal and Virat Kohli (16) with the score only reaching 76 at the end of the first 12 overs. 


Victory lap: AB de Villiers celebrates after hitting the winning runs against Pune Warriors on Apr 17. Pics/AFP

With 107 required off the last eight overs, Chris Gayle (81) turned the match on its head as he bludgeoned Rahul Sharma for five consecutive sixes in the 13th over. But with Gayle falling to Ashish Nehra in the 16th over, the tide turned once again in Pune’s favour. AB de Villiers and Tiwary came together to bring RCB to within 28 runs of the target with two overs left. Then, with Ashok Dinda conceding just seven runs in the 19th over, de Villiers hit Nehra for a boundary and two sixes off consecutive deliveries before Tiwary clubbed the last ball over long-on for a six to complete a fabulous run-chase.

Man of the match: Chris Gayle for his blazing 48-ball 81 that included five consecutive sixes off Rahul Sharma in the 13th over of the run-chase. 

Brief Scores:
Pune Warriors 182-6 (R Uthappa 69, M Samuels 34; R Vinay Kumar 2-34, H Patel 1-29) 
Royal Challengers Bangalore 186-4 (C Gayle 81, S Tiwary 36 no, AB de Villiers 33 no ; M Samuels 1-5, A Dinda 1-28) 

Deccan Chargers vs Mumbai Indians
Rohit Sharma struck a majestic 73 not out to help Mumbai Indians clinch a nail-biter against the Deccan Chargers in Vizag. With 18 runs required off the last over, Kiwi all-rounder James Franklin hit a boundary and Sharma smashed two sixes, including one off the last ball, to give MI a morale-boosting win so early in the season.


Way to go! Rohit Sharma and James Franklin celebrate Mumbai Indians’ win over Deccan Chargers on April 9

Chasing 139, Mumbai were rattled by Dale Steyn’s pace and accuracy. Opener Tirumalasetti Suman (5) was to depart. A few balls later, Richard Levi (3) was castled by an unplayable yorker. At 10 for two, MI were struggling to achieve their target. Sharma and Ambati Rayudu instilled a sense of balance to proceedings with a 48-run partnership. Sharma was left with the mantle of guiding MI home. He did so in fine style.

Man of the match: Rohit Sharma for holding his nerve and seeing MI home with a 50-ball 73* that included the match-winning strike that went for six.

Brief Scores:
Deccan Chargers 138-9 (S Dhawan 41, D Christian 39; M Patel 4-20, S Malinga 3-27)
Mumbai Indians 142-5 (R Sharma 73 not out, K Pollard 24; D Steyn 3-12,A Mishra 1-31) 

Chennai Super Kings v Royal Challengers Bangalore
In a rematch of last year’s IPL final, Chennai Super Kings edged Royal Challengers Bangalore in a match that saw more than 400 runs scored. Chasing 206, the CSK batsmen struck an incredible 45 runs off the last two overs, including a boundary off the last ball, to deliver a nerve-wracking win for the home team. Opting to bat first, RCB posted 205 for eight thanks to Mayank Agarwal (45), Chris Gayle (68) and Virat Kohli (57). RCB lost their last seven wickets for just 37 runs.In pursuit of 206, CSK were powered by opener Faf du Plessis, who scored a 46-ball 71, while skipper MS Dhoni, batting at 4, hit 41 off 24.


Told you so: Chennai Super Kings’ Ravindra Jadeja celebrates hitting the winning runs against Bangalore on April 12

Albie Morkel, coming in to bat at the start of the 19th, hit Kohli for 4, 6, 4, 6, 2 and 6 to leave CSK needing 15 off the final over. And even though Morkel (28 off seven) was out caught in the deep off the second ball of the last over, Dwayne Bravo (25* off 15) hit a four and a six while Ravindra Jadeja hit a boundary off the last ball to help CSK record a memorable five-wicket win.

Man of the match: Faf du Plessis for his sizzling 46-ball 71 that gave CSK the perfect platform to chase down RCB’s score of 205

Brief Scores:
Royal Challengers Bangalore 205-8 (C Gayle 68, V Kohli 57; D Bollinger 3-24; R Jadeja 2-18)
Chennai Super Kings 208-5 (F du Plessis 71, MS Dhoni 40; M Muralitharan 3-21, Z Khan 1-32)

Kolkata Knight Riders v Kings XI Punjab
A terrific team effort from Kings XI Punjab’s bowlers saw them pull off a stunning two-run win over the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens. Riding on spin twins Piyush Chawla and Bhargav Bhatt, Adam Gilchrist’s men successfully defended a below par total of 134. The Kings needed some inspiration if they were to defend their total and it came right at the outset. Paras Dogra flung to his left to send Jacques Kallis (1) packing in the second over. Just as KKR duo Manvinder Bisla (27) and Manoj Tiwary (20) put the run-chase back on track, Bhatt removed Tiwary while Chawla cleaned up Bisla.


The huddle: Kings XI Punjab players celebrate after pulling off a miraculous win against Kolkata on April 15

Chawla then struck a double blow by dismissing Yusuf Pathan (0) and Shakib Al Hasan (4) in quick succession. At 88 for six, the Knights were pretty much out of it but Debabrata Das brought them back into the contest. With nine required off the last over, Harmeet Singh cleaned up Ryan ten Doeschate. 

Das couldn’t quite get the boundary off the last ball and the Kings pulled off a well-deserved two-run win.

Man of the match: Though he finished on the losing side, KKR mystery spinner Sunil Narine bagged the award for his brilliant five-wicket haul.

Brief Scores:
Kings XI Punjab 134-9 (Mandeep Singh 38, D Hussey 32; S Narine 5-19, R Bhatia 2-14)
Kolkata Knight Riders 132-7 (D Das 35, M Bisla 27; P Chawla 3-18, B Bhatt 2-24) 

Chennai Super Kings v Rajasthan Royals
Chennai Super Kings held their nerve to beat Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets at Chepauk. With two required off the last ball, skipper MS Dhoni saw the hosts through in a classic contest. Chasing a modest 147, Chennai opener Faf du Plessis (73) continued his fine form with yet another half-century until Rahul Dravid’s Royals pulled things back late in the day. du Plessis and Suresh Raina added 61 runs for the second-wicket as CSK began to dominate proceedings.


Too cool: CSK skipper MS Dhoni (left) and Dwayne Bravo during their match-winning partnership on April 21

But CSK’s grip on the match loosened after Kevon Cooper dismissed both batsmen in the 17th over. At 117 for three, the hosts were suddenly feeling the pressure. With eight required off the last over, Stuart Binny bowled well to restrict Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo. But Dhoni got the job done for the umpteenth time. For the Royals, Owais Shah (52) and Ashok Menaria (36) starred with the bat.

Man of the match: CSK’s Faf du Plessis for scoring a 52-ball 73 at the top of the order. 

Brief Scores:
Rajasthan Royals 146-4 (O Shah 52, A Menaria 36; S Jakati 1-12, N Kulasekara 1-17)
Chennai Super Kings 147-3 (F du Plessis 73, SK Raina 26; K Cooper 2-23, B Hogg 1-18) 

 
Delhi Daredevils v Rajasthan Royals
When you consider how one team dominated the match for 38 overs and still lost, this was arguably the best match of IPL-V yet. At 138 for one after 18 overs in a chase of 153, you would have expected Rajasthan Royals to win the match easily. But Morne Morkel stepped up his game and turned the match on its head for table-toppers Delhi Daredevils, giving away just three runs and dismissing the dangerous Brad Hodge.



Amazed! (L to R) Delhi players Irfan Pathan, Naman Ojha and Umesh Yadav celebrate the win vs Royals on April 29

The Daredevils scored a modest 152 and didn’t have the Royals batsmen in any trouble for most part of the chase. Rahul Dravid (40) and Ajinkya Rahane (84 not out) added 99 runs for the first-wicket and the run-chase appeared a mere formality. But two last overs of thorough discipline from Morkel and Umesh Yadav got Delhi an unlikely win. In the penultimate over, Morkel unleashed an array of fast yorkers. Yadav managed to defend the remaining 12 in the last over, thereby helping DD continue their dominance in IPL-V. For Delhi, skipper Virender Sehwag (63 off 39 balls) struck a fourth consecutive half-century. But the rest of his team added only 89 runs off 81 balls. 

Man of the match: Virender Sehwag for his match-winning innings of 63 off 39 balls, which was his fourth consecutive half-century of IPL-V.
 
Brief Scores:
Match 39: Delhi Daredevils 152-6 (V Sehwag 63, Y Nagar 27; Pankaj Singh 2-25, A Singh 1-41)
Rajasthan Royals 151-3 (A Rahane 84 not out, R Dravid 40; M Morkel 1-26, I Pathan 1-27)

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