Mumbai edge past Kolkata in last-ball finish
Mumbai Indians 178 for 5 (Franklin 45*, Tendulkar 38, Bhatia 3-22) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 175 for 7 (Kallis 59, Yusuf 36, Tiwary 35) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out
Kolkata Knight Riders had their Champions League debut all but booked when they began the last over with 21 to defend. Three edged boundaries off L Balaji and two missed yorkers later, James Franklin and Ambati Rayudu had seen Mumbai Indians to a highly unlikely win, breaking their three-match losing streak. The win set up a repeat clash between the two teams in the eliminator, an equivalent of a quarter-final.
In all the chaos of the last over, which stunned the full house at Eden Gardens, Chennai Super Kings emerged the biggest gainers. Had Kolkata won the game, which they should have despite all those edges, Chennai would have finished third, and would have had to win two games in order to make the final. Now they need win only one of the two.
Mumbai gained too: they needed to finish the chase off in 5.1 overs to make it to the top two, but by beating Kolkata they could have ensured a psychological advantage in their eliminator. For the best part of their 19 overs of batting, Mumbai scarcely looked like a team that could do so. Iqbal Abdulla removed T Suman in the second over, the pinch-hitter Harbhajan Singh managed 30 off 29, and Rajat Bhatia's leg-rollers broke the batting order's back with thee wickets in three overs.
At 96 for 4 in the 13th over, it seemed too much was left for Kieron Pollard and Franklin. Pollard lived up to that expectation, but Franklin kept the fight up mostly with well-placed couples. A six and a four in between meant Mumbai were not completely out of it even when Balaji ripped Pollard's leg stump out with 40 required off 15.
If this was robbery in broad floodlights, Kolkata weren't the most vigilant victims either. As much as the edged boundaries in the last over, Kolkata will also look back at little moments towards the end that proved to be decisive. Balaji bowled a wide with one ball left in the 18th over, and Ambati Rayudu lofted the compensation delivery over extra cover for a six. It wouldn't be Rayudu's last six of the night.
The last ball of the 19th over hit Rayudu in the pad and rolled towards the keeper. The batsmen had all but stolen a leg-bye when wicketkeeper Shreevats Goswami went for a direct hit, and conceded an overthrow. That kept Franklin - 28 off 18 now - on strike for the last over. L Balaji went for a wide yorker first ball, and a thick edge off the low full toss went between the keeper and the short third man. A slower bouncer followed, and the tope edge cleared the keeper again. Thirteen off four now looked so much more gettable.
Balaji went back to the wide-yorker plan, and Franklin smacked the next low full toss past extra cover for four. Under pressure and in the face of some ill luck, Balaji was just not landing them right. The next ball was a low, wide full toss again, and another thick edge beat third man to make it five of two. The next low full toss found extra cover, and brought Kolkata some relief. However, just then Balaji chose to bowl the worst delivery of the over - a high full toss on the pads - and Rayudu helped himself to his second, and decisive, six.
The stunned Eden gardens crowd could scarcely believe what they were seeing after they had cheered their team all night to what looked like a comfortable win. Most of it was thanks to Jacques Kallis who batted solidly at first and rapaciously towards the end. Along the way he was helped by breezy 30s from Manoj Tiwary and Yusuf Pathan, but it was Kallis who provided the innings the final impetus with 19 off the last five balls he faced. It was fitting then that the man who minimised the damage with the wickets of Kallis and Yusuf was none other than Franklin.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo