Sachin Tendulkar and Ambati Rayudu hit impressive half-centuries to set up Mumbai Indians’ 23-run win over Kings XI Punjab in an Indian Premier League match on Monday.
Skipper Tendulkar and Rayudu each made 51, as Mumbai scored 159-5 before stopping Punjab at 136-8 for their sixth victory in eight games of the Twenty20 tournament.
In another match, Kochi Tuskers Kerala posted an easy seven-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils, achieving a 141-run target with five overs to spare for their fourth win in nine games.
New Zealander Brendon McCullum put Kochi on course for victory with a 19-ball 37, including two sixes and as many fours in seamer Umesh Yadav’s over. He also hit South African paceman Morne Morkel for three fours in an over.
Parthiv Patel (37 not out) and Australian Brad Hodge (24 not out) completed the victory with an unfinished 52-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Venugopal Rao top-scored for Delhi, who suffered their sixth defeat in nine matches.
Mumbai now lead the 10-team league table with 12 points, followed by Rajasthan (11), Kolkata (10), Chennai (10), Bangalore (nine), Kochi (eight), Deccan (six), Delhi (six), Punjab (six) and Pune (four).
Australian Shaun Marsh top-scored with a 47-ball 61 for Punjab, who suffered their fourth defeat in seven games. He put on 72 for the second wicket with Paul Valthaty (33).
Pacemen Lasith Malinga and Munaf Patel, and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh bagged two wickets apiece for Mumbai.
Tendulkar and Rayudu earlier propped up the innings after Mumbai had lost South African Davy Jacobs (10) in the third over, adding 95 for the second wicket.
Rayudu, who hit seamer Praveen Kumar for two fours and a six in the same over, was the first to reach a half-century with a boundary off leg-spinner Piyush Chawla.
He fell in the same over while attempting another big shot, caught superbly by Dinesh Karthik at deep mid-wicket after hitting one six and eight fours in his 37-ball knock.
Tendulkar, who hit left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt over deep square-leg for the first six of the innings, also fell soon after completing his half-century. He cracked one six and three fours in his 45-ball knock.
West Indies batsman Kieron Pollard smashed two sixes in his 11-ball 20 and Rohit Sharma hit a brisk 18 to help Mumbai cross the 150-mark.