Virender Sehwag was upset with his top order's performance yesterday as an early innings slump — which saw Delhi Daredevils at just seven for four — cost his side any chance of chasing down the Mumbai Indians' total of 178.
In a match billed as Sachin Tendulkar v Sehwag, both of India's premier batsmen fell cheaply. Tendulkar, the Mumbai captain, was out for 14 while Sehwag managed just two.
When Sehwag was asked if his side were capable of winning only if he registered a decent score — he hit 119 in Delhi's previous game, when they beat Deccan — the captain replied: "I think if you look at the history in this season, that is true."
He added: "Very disappointed, because our top-order didn't click today. It is very difficult to chase 180 when you lose four wickets for seven runs."
The 32-run win guarantees Mumbai a place in the semi-finals of the competition.
Ambati Rayudu's half-century was the standout performance as they posted a score of 178 for four, a total which eventually proved beyond Delhi, who could reach only 146 all out in 19.5 overs.
Delhi have virtually crashed out of the tournament, with just four wins from 11 games.
Batting first after losing the toss Mumbai were off to a blazing start, thanks to Aiden Blizzard, who along with Tendulkar brought up 50 off just five overs.
Blizzard hit five fours off Morne Morkel's second over, but Delhi had a respite when Tendulkar (14) and Blizzard (37 off 23 balls) were dismissed in quick succession.
Rayudu and Rohit Sharma then combined for an 87-run stand in just under 10 overs.
Sharma reached 49 off 30 balls before skying Morkel straight to third man, but Rayudu added 31 more with Pollard en route to his 35-ball half-century.
Rayudu (59 off 39 balls) was dismissed in a bizarre way when he lifted James Hopes straight to Sehwag at cover, but in the meantime he had stamped on the stumps to be out hit wicket.
Chasing 179 for victory, Delhi lost four wickets with just seven runs on the board as Munaf Patel's double strike was preceded by a wicket each for Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga.
With the likes of Sehwag and David Warner back in the hut, Venugopal Rao and Hopes were required to do something extraordinary to take Delhi closer to the target.
The duo kept the hopes alive by adding 87 off 65 balls but Dhawal Kulkarni cleaned up Rao (37 off 27 balls). With the asking rate shooting up, Hopes, along with Irfan Pathan, fought a losing battle before being run out for a 44-ball 55.
Malinga became the highest wicket-taker in IPL history, moving past RP Singh's 23 when he bowled Pathan (23).
Kieron Pollard finished things off by picking up the last two wickets as Mumbai secured their eighth victory of the tournament.
"I think in all departments we have done well, batting, bowling and fielding, we have to continue to be consistent," Tendulkar said.
* Compiled with agencies