Rohit Sharma and Andrew Symonds scripted a fantastic recovery with a record fifth wicket partnership to lay the foundation for Mumbai Indians' comfortably 37-run victory over Deccan Chargers in an Indian Premier League match, in Hyderabad on Sunday.
There couldn't have been a better birthday gift than a Mumbai win for Sachin Tendulkar who turned 38.
After posting a challenging total of 172 for four, Mumbai restricted Chargers to 135 for eight as they now lead the points tally with 10 points from six outings.
Rohit (56 not out, 34 balls, 5x4, 3x6) and Symonds (44 not out, 33 balls, 4x4, 1x6) added 102 runs off only 65 balls for the unbroken fifth wicket after Mumbai were tottering at 70 for four at the start of the 10th over. Incidentally, the duo played together for Chargers during the first three editions.
The duo thrashed Dale Steyn and Dan Christian for 16 and 24 runs respectively to score 40 off the last two overs.
Christian went for 48 runs from his four wicketless overs.
While chasing, the Chargers lost wickets at regular intervals. The Mumbai bowlers led by Lankan slinger Lasith Malinga (4-0-9-3) kept the batsmen under wraps. The bowlers were also backed by some nice fielding that saw a couple home team batsmen being run-out.
Save skipper Kumar Sangakkara (34) who was cleaned up by a low fulltoss from Malinga, the other batsmen lacked application. Malinga also got his trademark yorker going that castled Shikhar Dhawan (25).
Davy Jacobs (32, 20 balls, 5x4, 1x6) who was back in the squad opened with Tendulkar. It was Jacobs who started the initial onslaught as Mumbai scored 47 runs in the first five overs before he was caught by Pragyan Ojha off Ishant Sharma's bowling.
Tendulkar got the 'Orange Cap' back from Paul Valthaty and is now the highest run-getter in the ongoing IPL.
Cheered by daugher Sarah and son Arjun who were seen waving Mumbai flags from stands, the legend hit a few crisp boundaries and again looked like making a substantial contribution.
But to their utter disappointment, the maestro scored only 28(24 balls, 4x4) before he was holed out in the deep by Steyn off Amit Mishra's bowling.
Tendulkar charged out but failed to get to the pitch of a flighted delivery from Mishra as Steyn took a well judged catch at long-on.
Tendulkar's dismissal triggered a collapse as Mumbai from 70 for one slumped to 70 for four within a space of six deliveries.
Ambati Rayudu (7) who has had a good tournament so far played an ugly sweep shot off Mishra two balls later. Shikhar Dhawan stationed at deep square leg timed his jump to perfection send Rayudu back in the hut.
Kieron Pollard who has hardly batted in the tournament was promoted up the order but he tried a delicate paddle shot off Pragyan Ojha's bowling and the ball lobbed up for skipper Sangakkara to take a simple catch.
Rohit and Symonds then started a repair job. They were cautious for a couple of overs before they started playing their strokes. Symonds' first boundary was swatted shot off Christian over mid-off. Rohit also played some classy shots as they added 50 runs off only 45 deliveries.
Symonds showed his class in the penultimate over bowled by Steyn. He started with a crashing shot over extra cover for four. He followed it up with a six effortlessly hit over long on. Then he took a couple and followed it with another drive through the cover region.
If Symonds got 16 runs off the 19th over Rohit got 24 off the last.
Not the one to be left behind, Rohit smashed six off Christian over long-on brought the team's 150. Two balls later he hit him over deep mid-wicket for another six and the next ball soared in to the deep square leg stands as Rohit completed his back-to-back fifty. He signed off with a straight drive which also brough the 100 run partnership for the duo.