Mumbai Indians posted its seventh win out of eight games in the IPL III when it coasted to a 63-run victory over a hapless Deccan Chargers at the Brabourne stadium here on Saturday night.
Ambati Rayudu breathed life into Mumbai Indians' innings with 55 not out off 29 balls, building on partner Saurabh Tiwary's 44 off 35 as the team posted a healthy 178 for five. Chargers was always on the backfoot after its top four were dismissed for 68 and limped to 115 all out in 18.2 overs.
Zaheer Khan (two for 10) and Ryan McLaren (two for 28) reaped rich rewards for keeping a tight line and cashed in on the batsmen's anxiety to speed up the run rate.
Zaheer, on a high after removing opener Herschelle Gibbs, sent Adam Gilchrist's stumps flying when the DC captain swung and missed. McLaren brought the ball in off the seam against Andrew Symonds, who made room for a huge swing, failed to connect and then before turning to walk back swished his bat over the stumps in frustration.
Kieron Pollard (two for 26) sent back Rohit Sharma with a reflex catch on his follow-through, crouching low in front to pouch a well-timed drive by the DC batsman. Sachin Tendulkar and Dwayne Bravo chipped in with cool catching to dismiss opener Herschelle Gibbs off Zaheer and Mishra off Pollard. V.V.S. Laxman got run out to complete a night of misery for the visitors.
Rayudu gained confidence watching Tiwary wade into the DC attack and justified his promotion ahead of Pollard with a breathtaking knock.
He kicked off with strong leg-side play and came into his own after Tiwary's exit, clearing the field with ease for six boundaries and two sixes.
Rohit Sharma opened the bowling. Tendulkar's sharp mind ticked away as usual, flicking into gaps on the onside and swinging another delivery pitched up over long-on. It was Rahul Sharma who cut short Tendulkar's innings with a delivery that turned slower than expected and hit the pad.
Mumbai Indians: S. Dhawan st Gilchrist b Ojha 14 (13b, 1x4), S. Tendulkar lbw b Rahul 35 (25b, 5x4), S. Tiwary c Harris b Ojha 44 (35b, 1x4, 3x6), D. Bravo b Ojha 2 (8b), A Rayudu (not out) 55 (29b, 6x4, 2x6), K. Pollard c Symonds b Harris 21 (10b, 3x4); Extras (lb-2, w-5): 7. Total (for 5 wickets in 20 overs): 178.
Fall of wickets: 1-53, 2-55, 3-62, 4-122, 5-178.
Deccan Chargers bowling: Rohit 3-0-26-0, Harris 4-0-40-1, Symonds 4-0-32-0, Bhuttar 2-0-28-0, Pragyan 4-0-26-3, Rahul 3-0-24-1.
Deccan Chargers: H. Gibbs c Tendulkar b Zaheer 17 (15b, 3x4), A. Gilchrist b Zaheer 19 (14b, 1x4), V.V.S. Laxman (run out) 4 (7b), A. Symonds b Mclaren 21 (18b, 2x4), Rohit c & b Pollard 11 (13b), M. Mishra c Bravo b Pollard 5 (7b), T. Suman c Rayudu b Harbhajan 11 (16b), R. Harris c Dhawan b Mclaren 13 (10b, 1x4), Rahul c Bravo b Harbhajan 5 (7b), J. Bhuttar (not out) 0, Pragyan b Malinga 2 (2b); Extras (b-1, lb-2, nb-1, w-3): 7. Total (in 18.2 overs): 115.
Fall of wickets: 1-30, 2-40, 3-40, 4-68, 5-81, 6-83, 7-103, 8-113, 9-113.
Mumbai Indians bowling: Harbhajan 3-1-16-2, Malinga 3.2-0-20-1, Zaheer 2-0-10-2, Bravo 2-0-12-0, Pollard 4-0-26-2, McLaren 4-0-28-2.