Harbhajan hero of the day

In the space of 20 balls, his unbeaten 49 and three-wicket haul against Chargers helps keep the Mumbai Indians top of the IPL table.

Harbhajan Singh smashed 49 from 18 balls against Deccan in Mumbai yesterday.
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Harbhajan Singh played true to his tag of "Turbanator" last night. In the space of 20 balls, he snatched the game away from the Deccan Chargers to keep the Mumbai Indians top of the IPL table. Harbhajan hit the first 18 of those balls for 49 runs and then returned to land the knockout punch, dismissing Adam Gilchrist with the second delivery of the run chase before taking two more wickets. His knock allowed Mumbai to post 172 for seven and the Chargers fell short by 41 after losing their captain without a run on the board.

Harbhajan let it rip after coming in to bat following Sachin Tendulkar's dismissal in the 17th over, at 119 for seven, allowing the Indians to add 52 runs from the last three overs. They were 100 for six at the end of the 15th over and looked in trouble with wickets falling at regular intervals. Only Tendulkar had stood firm, scripting his fourth fifty in six games of the IPL this season. The Mumbai maestro has scored 303 runs at a strike-rate of close to 150, but will not be in the India squad for the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean next month, after his legion of fans failed to convince him to come out of international Twenty20 retirement.

Mumbai Indians: Shikhar Dhawan lbw Jaskaran Singh 8 Sachin Tendulkar c Gilchrist b Singh 55 Dwayne Bravo c Symonds b Singh 23 Saurabh Tiwary c Gilchrist b Singh 4 Ambati Rayudu st Gilchrist b Ojha 6 Rajagopal Sathish c Suman b Ojha 3 Keiron Pollard c Suman b Jaskaran Singh 1 Ryan McLaren not out 13 Harbhajan Singh not out 49 Extras (b 1, w 5, nb 4) 10 Total (for seven wickets in 20 overs) 172 Fall of wickets: 1-24, 2-64, 3-68, 4-84, 5-92, 6-93, 7-119 Bowling: Kemar Roach 4-0-32-0 Jaskaran Singh 3-0-30-2 Pragyan Ojha 4-0-24-2 Rudra Pratap Singh 4-0-31-3 Andrew Symonds 4-0-40-0 Rohit Sharma 1-0-14-0 Deccan Chargers: Adam Gilchrist c Tendulkar b Harbhajan 0 Monish Mishra c McLaren b Malinga 13 Herschelle Gibbs c Pollard b Khan 27 Andrew Symonds c Bravo b Malinga 1 Rohit Sharma b Khan 45 Tirumalasetti Suman c & b Harbhajan 15 Y Venugopal Rao c McLaren b Pollard 7 Jaskaran Singh c sub (Duminy) b Harbhajan 1 Kemar Roach b Khan 10 Rudra Pratap Singh b Malinga 1 Pragyan Ojha not out 0 Extras (b 2, lb 5, w 4) 11 Total (all out in 17.4 overs) 131 Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-47, 3-49, 4-50, 5-81, 6-100, 7-116, 8-130, 9-131 Bowling: Harbhajan Singh 4-0-31-3 Ryan McLaren 3-0-24-0 Zaheer Khan 3-0-21-3 Lasith Malinga 3.4-0-12-3 Dwayne Bravo 2-0-16-0 Keiron Pollard 2-0-20-1

Rajasthan Royals' turnaround continued when they cruised to their fourth consecutive win - a 17-run triumph over the Chennai Super Kings, who have now lost four on the trot. Naman Ojha was the star of the show for the 2008 champions, who had started the season with three defeats. He stroked a stylish 49-ball 80 to help the home side post 177 for eight in Ahmedabad. The Super Kings seemed to be within reach of that score when Albie Morkel smacked Shane Warne for three consecutive sixes in the 18th over. After the 20-run over, 27 were needed from the last 12 balls, but Shaun Tait bowled a superb penultimate over, dismissing Subramaniam Badrinath and Morkel, and giving away only five runs. "It is real credit to Naman, the way he works," said Warne, the Royals captain. "He is a real key component to us, when you wicket-keep and open the batting, and go on and bat like that.

"He and Michael Lumb [30] set us a great platform [47 runs from four overs] and I think we posted a pretty good score. I am really, really happy for Naman Ojha - I thought he played beautifully. Tait has been bowling fantastic. I thought he bowled sensational at the end, hard to hit." The Super Kings' hopes suffered a major setback when MS Dhoni, their captain, was left short of his crease after a mid-pitch collision with Badrinath in the 16th over. @Email:arizvi@thenational.ae

Rajasthan Royals: Micahel Lumb c Thushara b Morkel 30 Naman Ojha c Joginder b Thushara 80 Faiz Fazal c Vijay b Jakati 17 Yusuf Pathan c Raina b Jakati 8 Adam Voges c Muralitharan b Morkel 20 Abhishek Jhunjhunwala c Vijay b Thushara 11 Paras Dogra run out (Dhoni/Thushara) 5 Sumit Narwal not out 2 Shane Warne run out (Jakati/Dhoni) 0 Shaun Tait not out 1 Extras (lb1, w2) 3 Total (for eight wickets in 20 overs) 177 Fall of wickets: 1-47, 2-100, 3-117, 4-155, 5-162, 6-174, 7-174, 8-175 Bowling: Albie Morkel 4-0-46-2 Thilan Thushara 4-0-28-2 Muttiah Muralitharan 4-0-34-0 Joginder Sharma 2-0-23-0 Suresh Raina 2-0-15-0 Chennai Super Kings: Murali Vijay run out (Pathan) 42 Matthew Hayden c&b Pathan 19 Suresh Raina b Warne 14 MS Dhoni run out (Voges/Ojha) 21 Subramaniam Badrinath c Pathan b Tait 25 Albie Morkel c Fazal b Tait 28 Arun Karthik not out 4 Thilan Thushara not out 2 Extras (lb 2, w 3) 5 Total (for six wickets in 20 overs) 160 Fall of wickets: 1-24, 2-75, 3-79, 4-123, 5-151, 6-155 Bowling: Yusuf Pathan 4-0-26-1 Sumit Narwal 3-0-49-0 Shaun Tait 4-0-22-2 Shane Warne 4-0-34-1 Siddharth Trivedi 4-0-19-0 Adam Voges 1-0-8-0