Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming today said the way Dwayne Smith won Sunday's match for Mumbai Indians, it shows the unpredictability of the Twenty20 format, in which one individual could change the result of a match with his performance.
Smith, playing his first game after being flown in as a late replacement for the injured Australian Mitchell Johnson, piloted MI to a two-wicket win with a fine unbeaten knock of 24 off just nine balls, including a six and two fours in the last three balls.
"Take your hats off to (Dwayne) Smith, it was an amazing innings. We lost by a small margin. It was a real roller-coaster, wasn't it? That's the beauty of IPL. The nature of T20 is the game can be won or lost by an individual. We saw that today," said the former New Zealand skipper after his team lost the match in the last ball.
Chasing 174 for victory, MI were cruising well at 144 for one with Sachin Tendulkar (74 off 44 balls) and Rohit Sharma (60 off 46 balls) going great guns with a splendid century partnership before the hosts lost wickets in a heap.
"It was a great game, phenomenal see-sawing throughout the game. We looked down and out but were back with great fielding," said Fleming, referring to the acrobatic catch taken by Faf du Plessis at short extra cover to send back Tendulkar that triggered a collapse which saw MI lose seven wickets for 15 runs.
Fleming said Tendulkar, who missed a few games due to injury played a dynamic knock on Sunday. "Won't say he has been struggling, but had not (been) the dynamic player before tonight. The partnership he had with Rohit was wonderful. What should have been a match-winning partnership was turned around with some splendid fielding. It was an outstanding and clever partnership," he said.
Fleming said they are aware that to make the play-offs they now have to win three out of their last four games. "Yes, we are aware. We have to win three out of the next four games. We have to lift ourselves. We created the opportunities to win tonight," he said.