Mumbai Indians [ Images ] thrashed defending champions Deccan Chargers [ Images ] by 63 runs in their Indian Premier League [ Images ] match at the Brabourne Stadium on Saturday to consolidate their place atop the table.
Chasing a formidable 179 to win, the visitors managed only 115, getting dismissed with 10 balls to spare.
It was Deccan Chargers' lowest total in this IPL and coincided with their biggest defeat in the tournament.
It was Mumbai's eighth win in nine matches, their fifth in succession and almost assured them a spot in the last four.
The win also brought their head-to-head record with Deccan Chargers to three wins apiece.
The Sachin Tendulkar-led side now sits firm atop the table with 14 points after a second successive win over the team from Hyderabad this season.
As regards the Deccan Chargers, it was their fifth defeat in eighth matches, their fourth in succession and they are now just above Kings XI Punjab [ Images ] in the table.
The home team handed the ball to Harbhajan Singh [ Images ] to start with.
And Herschelle Gibbs [ Images ] (17) started attacking the off-spinner with immediate effect, smashing successive boundaries, the first through cover and the second over mid-on.
The South African also drove Lasith Malinga [ Images ] to mid-off in the next over for his third boundary.
Adam Gilchrist [ Images ] (19) started on a tentative note but broke free with a massive six over long-on in Malinga's second over.
However, the introduction of Zaheer Khan [ Images ] in the fifth over provided Mumbai their opening breakthrough - off the very first ball - when Gibbs hit straight to Tendulkar at extra cover.
Gilchrist eased the pressure a bit by driving Zaheer past the extra cover fielder for four.
But VVS Laxman [ Images ] (4) was run out soon after to add to the Hyderabad team's woes.
As the field restrictions eased, Deccan Chargers were struggling at 40 for two.
And when Zaheer cleaned up Gilchrist with a perfect yorker in the first ball of the seventh over, their innings was in complete disarray.
At the half-way-stage, Deccan Chargers were tottering at 68 for three.
And in the first ball of the 11th over Kieron Pollard displayed tremendous refelexes to take a brilliant catch on his follow through to dismiss Rohit Sharma [ Images ] (11).
Ryan McClaren piled on the pressure, cleaning up Andrew Symonds [ Images ] (21) in the next over.
And Pollard returned to have Monish Mishra (5) caught by Bravo at long-on to reduce the visitors to 83 for six in the 13th over.
McClaren then had Ryan Harris (13) caught by Shikar Dhawan to secure his second wicket.
Harbhajan came back to account for Rahul Sharma (5) - caught by Bravo at deep backward square leg. It was his 50th wicket in T20 cricket.
And he celebrated the feat by adding one more wicket to the tally - on this occsion having Suman (11) by Rayudu.
And when Malinga cleaned up Pragyan Ojha [ Images ] (2) it was all over.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians set Deccan Chargers a formidable target when they made 178 for five in their stipulated 20 overs, 64 coming in the last five overs.
Ambati Rayudu was the pick of the Mumbai batsmen with an impressive 55 not out while Kieron Pollard, their costliest purchase this term, contributed a crucial cameo - a 10-ball 21.
Pragyan Ojha was the best bowler for Deccan Chargers with figures of three for 26.
Ojha's three wickets took his tally in the tournament to 12 - the most wickets thus far in the tournament alongside Muutiah Muralitharan [ Images ].
The Mumbai innings began on a sedate note.
Sachin Tendulkar [ Images ] (35) began with a boundary each in the opening two overs before helping himself to successive boundaries in the fourth over.
However, the scoring rate for the home team wasn't as high as expected.
As the field restrictions eased, Mumbai had made 53 for no loss and Tendulkar had been dropped by Adam Gilchrist off Andrew Symonds.
The introduction of Pragyan Ojha in the seventh over provided the Chargers with their maiden breakthrough, the left-armer spinner luring Shikar Dhawan (14) out of his crease and Gilchrist doing the rest.
The opening wicket partnership had yielded Mumbai 53 runs off 37 balls.
And in the next over, it was a double blow for the hosts.
Rahul Sharma struck when he hit Tendulkar on the wrong foot.
Ojha cleaned up the dangerous Dwayne Bravo [ Images ] (2) in the next over to ensure triple celebration for the visitors.
The lost of three quick wickets brought down the scoring rate by a considerable extent.
But Saurabh Tiwary [ Images ] (44) then cut loose in the 144th over, hitting successive sixes off Rahul Sharma.
The first six, in fact, resulted from a dropped chance from Gibbs, and Tiwary was fortunate to get a second reprieve in the same over when Monish Mishra put him down at point.
As the second stategic time-out was taken (after 14 overs), Mumbai had crawled back to 104 for three.
Tiwary smashed a third six in the fifth ball after resumption, a shot that ensured the 50-run partnership as well.
Ambati Rayudu, who was thus far happy playing the second fiddle, broke the self-imposed shackles with a massive six over deep square leg off Symonds.
But Ojha took his third wicket in the next over, having the dangerous Tiwary caught by Ryan Harris.
Tiwary's 35-ball knock was inclusive of three maximum and a boundary and hisfourth wicket partnership with Rayudu yielded Mumbai 65 runs (off just 46 balls) - a partnership which provided the Mumbai innings with the stability it desperately required.
However, Rayudu hit successive boundaries to ease the pressure.
And it was the right-hander who kept up the momentum with successive boundaries off Jaskaran in the 19th over and brought forward his half-century with a massive six over the deep extra cover boundary.
The over cost the team from Hyderabad 20 runs.
The final over (by Harris) cost another 14 but provided them with the wicket of Pollard, who was caught of the final ball by Symonds at long-on.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians captain Sachin Tendulkar called correctly and predictably opted to bat.
"We would like to set up a decent total and put them under pressure," said Tendulkar, adding, "We are still not in the semis and that's how we look at it. It's about going all the way."
His opposite number, Adam Gilchrist, was tongue-in-cheek when asked what he would have done had he won the toss.
"I'll tell you after the game," he quipped.
Deccan Chargers: Adam Gilchrist (captain), VVS Laxman, Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Symonds, Rohit Sharma, T Suman, Monish Mishra, Jaskaran Singh, Ryan Harris, Rahul Sharma, Pragyan Ojha
Mumbai Indians: Sachin Tendulkar (captain), Shikar Dhawan, Saurabh Tiwary, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, R Satish, Ryan McLaren [ Images ], Zaheer Khan, Lasith Malinga.