Mumbai Indians survived a fiery pace bowling spell from Dale Steyn (2-10) as they beat bottom-placed Deccan Chargers by five wickets in a low-scoring Indian Premier League match on Sunday.
Chasing a small target of 101 for a win on a lively Wankhede pitch which offered assistance to pacers, Steyn made a stiff contest out of the match with a superb pace bowling display but the Chargers finally found their total too small to defend.
Rohit Sharma top-scored with a lucky but plucky knock of 42 as Mumbai reached the target with eleven balls to spare.
Earlier, Mumbai rode on paceman Lasith Malinga's 4-16 and captain Harbhajan Singh's 2-13 to shoot out the Chargers for just 100 in 18.4 overs.
The Mumbai victory, after the heavy defeat suffered against Delhi Daredevils two nights ago, helped them leapfrog from seventh to third place in the league table with 10 points from nine games, behind Delhi Daredevils (14) and Kolkata Knight Riders (11) while the Chargers remained at the bottom with three points from eight games.
Apart from Rohit, who struck a six and four fours in his 48-ball essay in which he was troubled a lot by rival speed merchant Steyn, Sachin Tendulkar made a run-a-ball 14, James Franklin got 13 in 20 balls while Ambati Rayudu made 19 not out in 15 balls.
Rohit, who threw his wicket in the 14th over by skying a catch to Ishank Jaggi in the deep off Jean-Paul Duminy, and Franklin put on 30 runs in 33 balls to put Mumbai well on way to the small target. Both got out before the victory was achieved by the sixth wicket pair of Rayudu and Robin Peterson (1 not out) through a small unbroken stand of 20.
It was not a big target to chase and the Chargers were also handicapped by the absence of effective bowlers to back up Steyn who looked unplayable on the bouncy track in his four-over stint in which he picked up 2 for 10 in three spells.
Earlier, Harbhajan Singh led the bowling attack from the front, picking up two wickets for a measly 13 runs before Malinga (4-16) took charge as the Chargers lost the plot early in their innings after being asked to take first strike.
James Franklin too picked up two wickets in one over while Rudra Pratap Singh (1) and Munaf Patel (1) also did their bit in an excellent display by MI with the ball after having conceded over 200 runs to the Delhi Daredevils in their previous match two days ago.
After a decent opening stand of 37 in 33 balls between Shikhar Dhawan, who made 29 in 32 balls with three fours, and Parthiv Patel (19 in 18 balls), the visiting team's innings crumbled at 66 for six by the end of the 13th over before recovering to reach 100.
Jean Paul Duminy, who remained unbeaten on 25, was the only batsman other than the openers to get into double figures in a batting order that did not have regular captain Kumar Sangakkara who opted out of the eleven to leave his duties to Cameron White.
MI, without the injured Kieron Pollard, also fielded much better and took some excellent catches, Rohit Sharma's attempt at backward point to catch a spiralling down sphere to send back Ashish Reddy off Munaf Patel being the pick.
The MI run-chase commenced on a stirring note with opener Richard Levi being clean bowled by his South African compatriot Steyn with a great out-swinger off the first ball of innings.
Steyn then troubled Rohit endlessly in the same over, beating the India ODI batsman with pacy out-swingers without getting the edge.
Rohit struck two fours against Veer Pratap Singh at the other end to ease off the pressure a bit but was also troubled by the 19-year-old Bengal Ranji Trophy bowler who made the ball cut in sharply.
While Rohit was having a difficult time, Tendulkar started in a sedate fashion, and hit Daniel Christian, who replaced Steyn after the latter's brilliant two-over spell for three runs, for his first boundary in the fifth over.
But the senior batsman was out in the next over off Pratap, giving a high catch to slip fielder Christian while trying to slash the ball over the fielder to leave MI at 31 for 2.
Rohit became more assured after Steyn was taken off the firing line to preserve him, and he also pulled Veer Pratap's short ball for a well-struck six over mid wicket.
Dinesh Karthik, who came after Tendulkar's fall, did not last long once Steyn came back for his second stint and edged the Proteas pacer to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel, the movement of the ball taking the edge of his tentative bat and MI were 45 for three, needing 56 more for victory in 69 balls.
With the asking rate not posing much of a challenge, Rohit and the left-handed Franklin put on crucial runs for the fourth wicket to ease the way for MI. Franklin even survived a dropped dolly by Amit Mishra just inside the third man rope off Steyn's penultimate ball.
Rohit then needlessly attempted a big hit off Duminy's wide ball while Franklin was caught behind off Ashish Reddy before Rayudu and Peterson took MI past the finish line.