Captain Sachin Tendulkar and in-form batsman Ambati Rayudu slammed 51 apiece as Mumbai Indians secured a 23-run win over Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League on Monday to wrest back top spot in the points standings.
Tendulkar and Rayudu were involved in a crucial 95-run stand for the second wicket that helped Mumbai score 159-5 on a docile Wankhede Stadium pitch. Punjab could only manage 136-8 in reply.
For Punjab, Australian batsman Shaun Marsh top-scored with 61 while Paul Valthaty made 33.
The win took Mumbai to 12 points from eight games, ahead of the Shane Warne-led Rajasthan Royals with 11 points from nine matches. Punjab remained on six from seven.
Put in to bat, Mumbai managed a competitive score thanks to the 12-over partnership between Tendulkar and Rayudu.
Tendulkar excelled with some clever shots on the on side, smashing a six and three fours off 45 balls. Rayudu relished playing straight down the ground, getting one six and eight fours off 37 deliveries.
West Indian Kieron Pollard smashed two hefty sixes in his 20 off 11 deliveries while Rohit Sharma got 18 off 11.
However, Mumbai was stopped from notching a bigger total by Australian pace bowler Ryan Harris and leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, who bagged two wickets each.
"I thought we got a good total in the end," Tendulkar said. "We were short by 10-15 runs but made up with some fine fielding."
In reply, King's XI Punjab lost captain Adam Gilchrist early on as the left-hander was trapped lbw by off-spinner Harbhajan Singh without scoring.
Valthaty and Marsh played well but the team could not develop any real momentum.
Marsh faced 47 deliveries and hit eight fours in his 10th IPL half-century before trying to force the pace and becoming Sri Lankan pace bowler Lasith Malinga's second victim.
Harbhajan and Munaf Patel also finished with two wickets each.
"We were in the game because the bowlers did well," Gilchrist said. "But our batting did not produce the goods."
In a late night game on Monday, Delhi Daredevils host Kochi Tuskers.
Mumbai Indians 159-5 in 20 overs (Sachin Tendulkar 51, Ambati Rayudu 51; Ryan Harris 2-33), def. Kings XI Punjab 136-8 in 20 overs (Shaun Marsh 61; Munaf Patel 2-18, Lasith Malinga 2-19).