Lasith Malinga and captain Harbhajan Singh produced crucial two-wicket bursts to help Mumbai Indians defeat Pune Warriors by one run in a low-scoring game in the Indian Premier League on Thursday.
Malinga (2-25) and Harbhajan (2-18) both struck in successive overs at different times as Pune was restricted to 119-6 in reply to Mumbai's 120-9 at Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium.
For Pune, Mithun Manhas made an unbeaten 42. But with eight runs needed off the last two deliveries from Munaf Patel, lower-order batsman Bhuvaneshwar Kumar could manage only six.
Pune, which had won the previous encounter between them by 28 runs at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium, was made to struggle as Harbhajan produced a twin-strike to instil interest in the proceedings.
New Zealand left-hander Jesse Ryder holed out at long on while Australia test captain Michael Clarke (14) was trapped lbw with a delivery that came in from the off stump.
With Robin Uthappa (18) and Steven Smith (2) also failing to do much, Pune was reduced to 47-4 by the 10th over before Manhas and Ganguly (16) brought the team back on track with a 47-run stand for the fifth wicket.
But just when Pune seemed to be taking control, Malinga came on to dismiss Ganguly and Wayne Parnell (2).
"The pitch was slow, low and it was difficult to play strokes," Harbhajan said. "We did not expect the pitch to play this way but our bowlers did a great job. You've got to be active and move fielders around in such situations."
Earlier, left-arm pace bowler Ashish Nehra stifled Mumbai after it got a good start from openers Sachin Tendulkar (34) and James Franklin (25), who were the two highest scorers for their team and featured in a solid 50-run stand.
Mumbai, which was cruising along at 81-2 in the 12th over, lost its way after Tendulkar's dismissal.
Nehra, who had been whacked for 14 runs by Franklin in his first over, conceded only five in his remaining three overs and also came up with two important strikes. He induced an edge from Tendulkar to wicketkeeper Uthappa and had Robin Peterson (13) caught at long-off when the South African miscued a pull shot.
Mumbai is third with six wins and four losses from 10 games, while Pune is eighth in the nine-team league with four wins and seven losses from 11 outings.