IPL 2012 May 28, 2012

Who pressed the nitro-boost button?

Five cameos that resulted in unlikely victories in IPL 2012

AB de Villiers v Deccan Chargers
47 off 17 balls, five fours, three sixes

With 39 needed off three overs, two of which had to come from Dale Steyn, de Villiers had no choice but to go after the fast bowler. Steyn's first ball was short and it was nonchalantly flat batted for a six to deep midwicket; next, a slower ball was mowed to cow corner but the best of them all was a 146 kph near-yorker smashed over extra cover for a huge six. The adrenalin took over for de Villiers and he didn't even need the final over, finishing the game in the 19th with more big-hitting. No doubt this was the cameo of the season.

Albie Morkel v Royal Challengers Bangalore
28 off seven balls, two fours, three sixes

When MS Dhoni got out on the last ball of the 18th over chasing a mammoth total, 43 runs were still needed. Enter Albie Morkel. Facing Virat Kohli, Morkel edged the first ball for four, drawing an expression of exasperation from the bowler. He stoically lifted the next ball over the long-on boundary and then edged to the third-man rope. Two more sixes followed in an over that fetched Chennai Super Kings 28 runs. Kohli went numb. Super Kings romped home after Morkel had changed the game in six balls.

AB de Villiers v Pune Warriors
33 off 14 balls, two fours, three sixes

Pune Warriors entrusted Ashish Nehra, the experienced fast bowler, with the job of defending 21 runs in the final over. But Royal Challengers' de Villiers, who was admittedly struggling with his timing, decided to use Nehra's pace as he scooped the bowler for a six and a four. In between, he powerfully hit a full toss for another six. Dizzy with de Villiers' onslaught, a shocked Nehra was hit for another six off the last ball, this time by Saurabh Tiwary, to seal Royal Challengers' win.

Dwayne Smith v Chennai Super Kings
24 off nine balls, two fours, two sixes

"Take a single. I shall do the rest," Smith told RP Singh at the striker's end when 15 runs were required off four balls. RP Singh managed to do his job to leave Smith with an uncomplicated task - hitting every ball to the boundary and more. Smith did just that - 6, 4, 4 - and became an instant hero in his first game for Mumbai Indians.

Gurkeerat Singh v Deccan Chargers
29 off 12 balls, four fours, one six

Kings XI Punjab were looking up to David Hussey in the last two overs to push them over the line after they had lost most of their senior batsmen. One of those overs was from Dale Steyn, and little-known Gurkeerat Singh more than survived as he squeezed Steyn's last ball to the point boundary. In the last over, Hussey got stuck at the non-striker's end when 13 were required of four balls only to see Gurkeerat smash a six and two boundaries to complete a last-ball win.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo