Mumbai, Mar 29 (IANS): Mumbai Indians stayed on top of Indian Premier League (IPL) with a 41-run win over defending champions Deccan Chargers at the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai here Sunday.
Sachin Tendulkar struck a crafty 55 while Harbhajan Singh scored a fiery 49 off 18 balls as Mumbai Indians reached 172 for seven in 20 overs.
Fast bowlers Zaheer Khan, Lasith Malinga and off-spinner Harbhajan then picked up three wickets each to restrict Deccan Chargers to 131 all out in 17.4 overs after Rohit Sharma scored a fighting 45 off 28 balls.
Harbhajan was adjudged as the Man of the Match as Mumbai Indians registered their fifth win from six matches while Deccan Chargers remained at the fourth spot with three wins and three losses after playing six matches.
For Deccan Chargers, the D.Y. Patil Stadium was supposed to be a home ground, since all IPL matches were shifted out of Hyderabad. But unfortunately the packed stadium rallied behind Tendulkar and Co.
Tendulkar continued his impressive run the league, scoring his fourth-half century this season. The batting maestro played a lone innings up the order as he saw wickets falling at the other end at regular intervals.
At the end it was the heroics of Harbhajan that saw Mumbai Indians get to a challenging total on board. Harbhajan smashed the Deccan Chargers bowlers to all parts of the ground as 72 runs came off in the last five overs. Playing with a bat given by Tendulkar, Harbhajan hit eight fours and two sixes.
While chasing, Deccan Chargers were up against a surprise as Tendulkar opted to start with Harbhajan, who struck with the second ball to remove Adam Gilchrist.
Chargers failed to recover from the poor start. Herschelle Gibbs (27), Monish Mishra (13), Tirumalasetti Suman (15) all got starts but failed to carry on.
Sharma then waged a lonely battle with the tail-enders. He played some crisp strokes on both sides of the wicket and hit two sixes and three fours during his knock.