Mumbai: Akash Parkar smashed the last ball of the game for a six to pilot Triumph Knights Mumbai North East to a thrilling five-wicket victory over Namo Bandra Blasters in the T20 Mumbai League at the Wankhede Stadium.
Chasing a stiff target of 183 for victory, the Knights needed six runs off the last ball when Mumbai Ranji Trophy all rounder Parkar carted a full-toss from medium pacer Prashant Bhoir over the midwicket boundary to herald the third victory for his team in four outings.
The win took the Knights to the top of the six-team table with six points.
Parkar remained unbeaten with 39, striking four sixes and two fours in 18 balls, and in the company of Vinayak Bhoir (19 not out off eight deliveries), added 50 off just 16 balls to pilot the Knights to a winning score of 184 for 5.
Knights looked in trouble when they needed 44 runs in the last two overs but the two batsmen struck five sixes and two fours in the last 12 balls to power the side past the finish line.
Azhar Ansari conceded 23 runs in the penultimate over while Prashant Bhoir gave away 21 runs in the last over.
Earlier, Blasters blazed their way to a challenging score of 183 for 5 by riding on hard-hit half centuries by captain Shreyas Iyer (72 off 57 balls) and Aman Khan, who smacked six sixes and as many fours in his 47-ball 85 as the two put the Knights' bowling to the sword in their century partnership for the second wicket.
Chasing the tough target, the Knights were slow off the blocks. Shashank Singh made 42 off 28 balls early on followed by a half-century stand for the third wicket between captain Suryakumar Yadav (36 off 22 balls) and Praful Waghela (28 off 28 balls).
But they were a fair bit behind the run-rate before Parkar smashed the ball around in the company of Bhoir to reach the target in brilliant fashion.
Blasters too began sedately after being asked to bat first, before Iyer and Khan tore into the bowling attack with a flurry of sixes and fours and put on 127 runs for the second wicket off just 87 balls after Kevin Almeida had been dismissed with only 7 on board.
The scoring rate picked up hugely after the 15th over with the last five overs yielding a staggering 76 runs lifting the Blasters from 107 for one after 15 to their final tally.
Iyer began the rampage as he smote leg-spinner Parikshit Valsangkar for successive sixes over the straight field in 16th over. The over produced 21 runs with Khan also getting into the six-hitting act.
Iyer had earlier lofted left arm pacer Atif Attarwala for sixes off consecutive balls as he raced to 72 off 57 balls before perishing to Aditya Dhumal, having hoisted the left arm spinner for a huge six over long-on off the previous ball.
Iyer departed at 134 in the 17th over and then Shashikant Kadam played a cameo of 20 off nine balls which included three sixes, and also added 47 runs off 17 balls with Khan.
Khan singled out Attarwala for some harsh treatment as he smacked the left arm pacer for sixes over midwicket and the straight boundary, the last one a mishit, as the bowler gave away 24 runs in the 18th over.
The last over of Kalpesh Sawant, his first of the innings, not only arrested the run flow but also saw three batsmen dismissed off as many balls with a run-out in between preventing the bowler from getting to a hat-trick.
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