Mumbai Indians turned on a flawless performance to outplay defending champions Deccan Chargers by 63 runs in Indian Premier League match here Saturday.
After setting a tough target of 179 runs, Mumbai Indians bowlers made the most of a slow track to restrict Deccan Chargers to 115.
For Mumbai Indians, Ambati Rayudu smashed an unbeaten 55 off 29 balls with six fours and two sixes. Saurabh Tiwary made 44 while Sachin Tendulkar struck 35. Kieron Pollard gave the late charge with a 10-ball 21.
Deccan Chargers were never in the hunt and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Andrew Symonds (21) was the top scorer. Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Pollard and Ryan Mclaren all took two wickets each to pack off the visitors in 18.2 overs.
It was Mumbai Indians' seventh victory in eight matches and they continued their march towards the semi-finals. With 14 points, Mumbai Indians are at the top of the table. Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils are next in the standings with eight points each.
For Deccan Chargers, the road to the semi-finals will be difficult from here as they have gone down to seventh place in the league standings. It was their fifth loss in eight matches and they have only six points to show.
Deccan Chargers were disappointing both with the bat and the ball. Their fielding too was unimpressive.
Herschelle Gibbs (17) and Adam Gilchrist (19) were kept on a tight lease by Mumbai bowlers.
Harbhajan and Lasith Malinga, opening the bowling for Mumbai Indians, did a fantastic job in keeping the two dangerous batsmen on a tight lease.
Zaheer dismissed both Gibbs and Gilchrist while V.V.S.Laxman was run out after a terrible mix-up. Mumbai Indians were thus three wickets down for 40 runs and could never recover.
Pollard took a briliant catch to get rid of Rohit Sharma (11) while Symonds fell to McLaren and then the lower order fell apart.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians chose to bat after winning the toss. Tendulkar struck five sweetly-timed fours, scoring 35 off 25 balls.
Tiwary, who had been the find of the tournament, came good hitting three big sixes in his 35-ball knock.
Rayudu then entertained with a 29-ball 55 and together with Pollard hit 64 runs in the last four overs. Rayudu hit six fours and two sixes while Pollard struck three fours. Left arm spinner Pragyan Ojha took three wickets.
Mumbai Indians 178 for 5 (Rayudu 55*, Tiwary 44, Ojha 3-26) beat Deccan Chargers 115 (Zaheer 2-10, Harbhajan 2-16, Pollard 2-26, McLaren 2-28) by 63 runs
Player of the match AT Rayudu (Mumbai Indians)