Rohit Sharma’s half-century and three wickets from Lasith Malinga helped Mumbai maintain their position at the top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a 37-run win over Deccan Chargers at Hyderabad.
Batting first, Sharma (56 off 34) and Andrew Symonds (44 off 33) staged a 102-run fifth-wicket stand to propel Mumbai to 172, after four quick wickets had pegged back a solid start by openers Davy Jacobs (32) and Sachin Tendulkar who celebrated his 38th birthday with 28.
Malinga, who recently retired from Test cricket, then ripped through Deccan’s reply by giving away just nine runs for his triple blow, and effected a run-out, as Mumbai restricted the Chargers to 135 for eight in 20 overs ensuring a third straight win.
Mumbai were quick off the blocks — having lost the toss — as Jacobs cracked five fours and a six alongside Tendulkar’s similar approach.
But a spate of wickets put Deccan back in the game as Jacobs departed to Ishant Sharma before Amit Mishra cleaned up Tendulkar and Ambati Rayudu (seven) in the space of three balls, before Kieron Pollard fell next over to Pragyan Ojha without scoring.
The next boundary took nearly four overs but gave the impetus for Rohit Sharma and Symonds to work out their match-winning century partnership in 65 deliveries.
They smashed 40 in the last two overs as Sharma crossed his 50 in the 20th with three sixes and a boundary off Daniel Christian.
Deccan’s innings was in stark contrast, starting with the early exits of Sunny Sohal (five) and Shikhar Dhawan (25) — the latter bowled by a Malinga yorker — with Kumar Sangakkara, the captain, the only one to hold fort.
Malinga then worked his arm in the outfield with a direct hit to run out Cameron White (one) and then fittingly broke Sangakkara’s 34-run resistance.
The required rate climbed to 13 and the second collapse continued with Christian’s stumping for 21 before Ravi Teja became Malinga’s final victim of the evening as only Mishra’s gutsy 25 helped Deccan avoid the ignominy of being bowled out.