Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma's blazing half centuries set the platform as Mumbai Indians scored a 44-run victory over Delhi Daredevils in the Pepsi Indian Premier League match, in Mumbai, on Tuesday.
Electing to bat, Karthik's 48-ball 86 and Sharma's unbeaten 50-ball 74 powered Mumbai Indians to an imposing 209 for 5, before the hosts produced a disciplined bowling effort to restrict Delhi Daredevils to 165 for 9 in their 20 overs at the Wankhede stadium.
Australia opener David Warner waged a lone battle for Delhi with a 37-ball 61 but none of the other batsmen showed intent to grind it out and spend time at the wicket.
The pressure of the mounting run rate weighed heavily on Delhi’s batsmen and they lost wickets at regular intervals.
Defending the target, Mumbai bowlers kept a tight leash over Delhi's scoring rate to earn their second successive victory in the tournament after losing their first match to Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Mitchell Johnson, Kieron Pollard and Pragyan Ojha picked up two wickets apiece while Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh accounted for a wicket each.
The result meant that Delhi slumped to their third successive defeat. The absence of key overseas players and an injured Virender Sehwag is hurting the team's chances badly.
Delhi were off to a poor start. Opener Unmukt Chand yet again failed to deliver the goods, out for a first-ball duck for the second time in this IPL season.
Mumbai skipper Ricky Ponting took a stunning catch with one hand while diving full length to his right at extra cover to dismiss Unmukt off Harbhajan Singh.
Delhi skipper Mahela Jayawardena too fell cheaply, caught by wicketkeeper Karthik off Mitchell Johnson for three, leaving Delhi stuttering at 13 for two inside three overs.
Even though wickets kept tumbling at the other end, Warner was hardly bothered as he went about his business in style and kept the run rate well in check with occasional strikes.
Delhi got to 50 in the seventh over, with Warner hitting left-arm spinner Ojha for a huge six over the deep mid-wicket boundary. He kept punishing the Mumbai bowlers as he hit a six and a four off Pollard in the 10th over to bring up his fifty.
Warner found an ably ally in Manprit Juneja (49) and both kept the scoreboard ticking at a fair pace.
The pair forged an 82-run partnership for the third wicket in just 48 deliveries before Johnson returned for his second spell to dismiss Warner, who looked solid during his innings of 61 off 37 balls, laced with five fours and four sixes.
The departure of Warner spelt doom for Delhi as they lost three wickets in quick succession.
Jeevan Mendis (0) was caught by Pollard off his own bowling while Irfan Pathan was caught by Johnson off Ojha at deep midwicket for 10.
Kedhar Jadhav's departure further compounded the misery as Delhi were left tottering at 132 for 6 in 16 overs.
Delhi lost wickets at regular intervals and succumbed under the pressure of a mounting run rate.
Earlier, Karthik and Sharma treated the opposition bowlers with disdain as they helped Mumbai recover from two early jolts at the Wankhede stadium.
Karthik continued his rich vein of form, hitting 14 fours and two sixes in his aggressive knock, while Sharma too played his role to perfection, scoring an unconquered 50-ball 74 to take the team's total past the 200-run mark.
Sharma's chanceless knock was laced with four fours and five towering hits beyond the boundary line, which included three off the last over, bowled by pacer Ashish Nehra.
Ambati Rayudu too played a little cameo, hitting an eight-ball 24 that was laced with two fours and an equal number of sixes.
Put in to bat, Mumbai got off to a worst possible start as the two batting stalwarts of the game, skipper Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar, departed within a few balls of each other with just one run on the board.
Irfan Pathan first got rid of Ponting (0) with the final delivery of the first over before Mumbai got off the mark.
Ponting came down the track and tried to loft the pacer over mid-off, but struck it straight to Delhi skipper Mahela Jayawardene.
In the next over, Tendulkar was run-out, giving Delhi the edge in the early overs.
Karthik pushed one to mid off and Tendulkar took off for a quick single but was sent back mid way. Jayawardene got a direct hit from mid-off with Tendulkar nowhere in the picture.
But Karthik and Sharma then joined hands in the middle and started the repair job.
After carefully reading a few deliveries, Karthik upped the tempo and exploded in the sixth over, hitting Nehra for a six and two fours to accumulate 16 runs from it.
He smashed pacer Umesh Yadav for three fours in his second over to bring up his fifty off 30 balls, which included nine fours and a six. He went about his business in style and forged a 132-run stand with Sharma as the duo sent the bowlers on a leather hunt.
South African pacer Morne Morkel broke the stand when he had Karthik caught at extra cover by Jeevan Mendis.
Next man-in Kieron Pollard did not last long, the big-hitting West Indian departing after scoring 13, caught by Shahbaz Nadeem at extra cover off Nehra.
Rayudu then joined forces with Sharma and accumulated 22 runs from Pathan's last over and the innings' 19th before being caught by Nehra off his own bowling.
Sharma then hit three sixes off Nehra's final four deliveries to post the highest IPL total at the stadium.