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 mid-wicket 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 in 8 balls), added 50 in only 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 5 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 in 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 in 28 balls early on followed by a half-century stand for the third wicket between captain Suryakumar Yadav (36 in 22 balls) and Praful Waghela (28 in 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 in 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 in consecutive balls as he raced to 72 in 57 balls before perishing to Aditya Dhumal after 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 in 9 balls with three sixes in it and also added 47 runs in 17 balls with Khan.
Khan singled out Attarwala for some harsh treatment as he smacked the left arm pacer for sixes over midwicket and straight, 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.
In the second game of the day, Shivaji Park Lions thrashed ARCS Andheri by six wickets. Chasing 150, Shivaji Park Lions skipper Bravish Shetty led from the front with an unbeaten 50 off 37 balls, with three fours and two sixes. The side chased the target with 10 balls to spare.
Earlier, ARCS Andheri managed to post 149 runs on the board in their 20 overs with Shubham Ranjane top scoring with 28 after being asked to bat.
Akhil Herwadkar too played a handy knock of 27 for the Andheri side while for the Shivaji Park Lions, Sagar Trivedi (3-34) was the most successful bowler.
Brief scores: Namo Bandra Blasters 183 for 5 (Shreyas Iyer 72, Aman Khan 85; Kalpesh Sawant 2 for 3) lost to Triumph Knights Mumbai NE 184 for 5 (Shashank Singh 42, Suryakumar Yadav 36, Akash Parkar 39 not out, Vinayak Bhoir 19 not out; Prashant Bhoir 2 for 47) by 5 wickets.
Brief scores: ARCS Andheri 149/8 (Shubham Ranjane 28, Akhil Herwadkar 27, Sagar Trivedi 3-34) lost to Shivaji Park Lions 150/4 (Bravish Shetty 50 not out, Vaibhav Mali 1-14) by six wickets.