Mumbai: Lasith Malinga starred with the ball while Shikhar Dhawan shone with the bat as table-toppers Mumbai Indians thumped tournament laggards Kings XI Punjab by four wickets for their sixth win in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday.
After Mumbai Indians skipper Sachin Tendulkar had put in the visitors, Malinga captured four wickets, including three in four balls, as the home side restricted Kings XI Punjab for 163.
Barring the notable exception of Shaun Marsh, who struck a brisk 47-ball 57 in his first IPL3 match, the Punjab top and middle order batsmen capitulated again as the visitors settled for a below-par total.
Subsequently, Shikhar Dhawan (50 off 40 balls) and Saurabh Tiwary (31 off 23) came up with useful knocks as Mumbai cruised to 164 for six in 19.3 overs to consolidate their position atop the points table.
In contrast, it was the sixth defeat of the Punjab side in seven matches.
Mumbai Indians’ Shikhar Dhavan plays a shot during the IPL3 match against Kings XI Punjab at the Brabourne stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday. Shirish Shete/PTI
With Dhawan continuing his purple patch in the tournament, Mumbai’s chase got off to a flier with the openers raising 42 runs before a hushed silence descended on the Brabourne Stadium when Sachin Tendulkar (11) holed out to Irfan Pathan off Piyush Chawla.
Promoted in the batting order, Kieron Pollard (20 off 13 balls) played a characteristically brisk cameo, that included an effortless hitting of Chawla over long-off ropes.
Dhawan at the other end kept going. The left-hander had began with back-to-back fours off Brett Lee and cut and drove with elan.
Pollard fell to Irfan Pathan in the 10th over and then Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu (9) and Dwayne Bravo (8) fell in quick succession but Saurabh Tiwary looked unstoppable.
Even his mistimed shots sharted clearing the ropes as Tiwary imposed himself on the Punjab bowlers.
Tiwary eventually fell in the penultimate over but Mumbai Indians had no problems completing the formality with three balls to spare.
Kings XI Punjab: 163 all out in 20 overs.
Mumbai Indians: 164 for 6 in 19.3 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 50, Saurabh Tiwary 31; Ravi Bopara 3/31).