Mumbai Indians produced a commendable performance as they thrashed Pune Warriors by 41 runs to win the 'Maharashtra derby' of the Indian Premier League in Mumbai on Saturday.
Batting first, Mumbai Indians posted a challenging total of 183 for three, courtesy a fantastic 62 by Rohit Sharma and useful contributions from Sachin Tendulkar (44) and Dinesh Karthik (41).
The MI bowlers then took wickets at regular intervals to restrict Pune Warriors to 142 for eight despite Mitchell Marsh's rearguard effort of 38.
This is Mumbai Indians' third win in four matches and they now have six points while Pune slumped to their third defeat from four matches.
Left-arm speedster Mitchell Johnson (3/33) swung the match in MI's favour at the onset as his inswinging Yorker castled Pune's last match hero Aaron Finch (0) and then got one to come in to dismiss Robin Uthappa (7) while Ross Taylor (4) was run-out.
From 13 for three, the comeback was virtually impossible and the likes of Yuvraj Singh (24) and captain Angelo Mathews (19) also couldn't make much headway as the target became a tall order.
The decision to play Ross Taylor ahead of a highly successful Steve Smith defied any logic as the New Zealander hasn't made any significant contribution in the last two editions of IPL.
Marsh tried his best but didn't have a single partner who could stay along and built a partnership. Earlier, Rohit blazed his way to an unbeaten 32-ball 62 as Mumbai Indians posted a challenging 183 for three after opting to bat.
Rohit, who has been known as an 'IPL specialist' smashed three fours and five sixes as the home team put up a sizeable total on a flat track at the Wankhede Stadium.
Sachin Tendulkar (44) and Dinesh Karthik (41, 29 balls, 4x4, 1x6) also made significant contributions.
But it was Rohit, who went all-out in the final few overs to help Mumbai Indians amass 109 runs in the back 10 after having scored 72 at the halfway stage. With Ashoke Dinda (0/63 in 4 overs) leaking runs with monotonic regularity, MI managed 68 in the final five overs. Rohit and Kieron Pollard (19 no) added those runs in only 4.5 overs.
Dinda, in fact, has now equalled the worst bowling figure in the IPL history alongside Varun Aaron.
Tendulkar was in his elements as he looked in a mood to enthrall the packed crowd with his dazzling strokeplay. Four consecutive boundaries off Ashok Dinda, followed by a huge six off Rahul Sharma, showed that the legendary batsman wanted to make it count after failing in the earlier games.
But his attractive innings of 44 was cut short by part-time left-arm slow bowler Aaron Finch. Tendulkar hit seven fours and a six in his 29-ball knock.
The pair of Tendulkar and skipper Ricky Ponting (13) posted the 50-run opening partnership in 6.3 overs, but the bulk of runs were scored by the former. His onslaught against Dinda set the ball rolling.
Ponting, however, didn't get going and, apart from a pulled boundary off Bhuvneshwar Kumar's first over, he had nothing to show of.
Pune Warriors made the first breakthrough when Yuvraj Singh drew the former Aussie skipper out of his crease, but he didn't reach to the pitch of the delivery and was caught at backward point by Bhuvneshwar.
Karthik started off from where he had left against Delhi Daredevils the other day. A couple of boundaries off Yuvraj and a pulled six off rival captain Angelo Mathews got him off the blocks.
While Karthik went for the kill, Rohit was content giving the gloves-man bulk of the strike as they got the 50 partnership in only 36 balls. Just when it looked like Karthik would have another big knock under his belt, Marsh bowled an incutter that found the batsman plumb in-front.
However, once Karthik was gone, Rohit brought out his aggressive game, taking the Pune bowlers to the cleaners.