Sachin Tendulkar [ Images ] led from the front to ensure the Mumbai Indians [ Images ] a comfortable seven-wicket win over the Kolkata Knight Riders [ Images ] in their Indian Premier League [ Images ] match at the Brabourne Stadium on Monday.
The home team reached their target (156) with three balls to spare and losing just three wickets en route.
Tendulkar's unbeaten 48-ball 71, his fifth IPL fifty overall and second in this edition, was inclusive of 10 hits to the fence.
It was the Mumbai team's third win in four matches and came as a relief after their shock home defeat at the hands of Royal Challengers [ Images ] Bangalore on Saturday.
It also moved them back to the top of the table.
As regards the Kolkata Knight Riders, it was their third straight defeat following wins in their opening two matches.
And the result also kept Kolkata's dubious distinction of not having been able to beat the team from Mumbai (in five attempts now) intact.
Sachin Tendulkar joined the part with a three boundaries in the second over, bowled by Ishant Sharma [ Images ].
Th MI aggression forced KKR captain to introduce Chris Gayle [ Images ] as early as the third over, in a bid to cut pace off that ball.
Gayle did his job well, restricting the flow of boundaries.
But as Ishant continued from the other end, Tendulkar smashed another three boundaries.
And another boundary off Gayle ensured the fastest fifty by a team - in just 26 balls - in the IPL. As the field restrictions eased, MI were sitting pretty at 57 for no loss.
However, the introduction of Murali Kartik [ Images ] in the seventh over got Kolkata their first breakthrough, with the bowler having Dhawan caught by Ganguly at short midwicket.
The opening-wicket partnership yielded MI 61 runs off just 41 balls, laying a solid foundation for the batsmen to follow.
However, in his second over, Kartik dropped Tendulkar (then on 41) off his bowling in a miss that would prove to be costly.
Saurabh Tiwary [ Images ] (30) joined the party with a maximum (over long-on) off Angelo Matthews and then three boundaries off Gayle.
Tendulkar reached his fifth IPL fifty, smashing Ishant to the midwicket fence for his ninth boundary.
The Master Blaster celebrated the same with a second successive boundary.
The latter boundary gave Ishant a dubious distinction - of having conceded most boundaries in this IPL.
However, there was relief coming his way in that over, with Ganguly taking a spectacular catch to sent back Tiwary to the pavilion.
The second wicket partnership had yielded MI 56 runs off just 43 balls and halped build on their solid foundation.
Ishant picked up a second wicket in his next over - trapping Kieron Pollard (7) plumb in front.
However, Tendulkar and R Sathish (21) ensured there were no further hiccups.
Earlier, a maiden fifty by Chris Gayle, playing in his first match this season, helped Kolkata Knight Riders to a decent total.
The visitors made 155 for two in their stipualted 20 overs, restricted in their endeavour by some effective bowling.
It was the team from Kolkata's highest ever total against the team from Mumbai.
However, to their credit of the Mumbai Indians executed their plan to perfection and didn't allow KKR to break free for most parts.
Gayle's 60-ball knock was inclusive of seven hits to the fence and two over it, but was a rather uncharacteristic innings.
The West Indies [ Images ] captain was not allowed room to play his shots for most parts of the match though there were flashes of belligerence that is synonymous with his batting.
The Kolkata Knight Riders got off to a steady start, albeit not an electrifying one.
Chris Gayle (75), playing his first game in the third season, started with a bang, hitting the innings' first ball (off Malinga) to the fine leg fence.
Thereafter the West Indian went into a slumber, allowing his skipper to step up the gas instead.
But Gayle, after surviving a few tentative moments, pulled Bravo to ensure two things: the first maximum of the innings and the surpassing of the 50-run mark.
After 10 overs, Kolkata had reached 67 without loss.
The Mumbai Indians, had on the positive side, managed to restrict the visitors while, on the negative side, they had failed to make the breakthrough.
The breakthrough though came in the 11th over, bowled by Harbhajan, when the wily off-spinner cleaned up Ganguly.
The Kolkata's captain innings came off 34 balls and included five hits to the fence, and his opening partnership with Gayle yielded 70 runs off 11 overs.
Harbhajan finished with impressive figures of one for 17.
It was only in the 14th over that that the Kolkata managed to score freely, that over by Bravo yielding them 15 runs, including a boundary apiece for Gayle and Owais Shah [ Images ] (31).
However, even after 15 overs, the visitors were struggling to break free at 102 for one, the Mumbai Indians executing their plan to perfection.
But then Gayle cut loose, two successive boundaries off Zaheer, both past short fine leg to reach his maiden IPL fifty.
The West Indies captain celebrated the occasion by smashing the last ball - the 16th that cost MI 16 runs - over the long-on boundary for a maximum.
The 18th over of the innings, by McLaren, yielded another 14 runs for the visitors, with Gayle helping himself to successive boundaries.
The second-wicket partnership between Gayle and Shah yielded 82 runs for Kolkata in just 50 balls.
Shah was cleaned up by Zaheer in the final over, and the bowler dismissed Gayle leg before of the final delivery.
Earlier, Kolkata captain Sourav Ganguly called correctly and had no hesitation in opting to bat first.
"Looks a good wicket to bat on and we look to put runs on the board. The wicket might to a bit later in the day," reasoned Ganguly.
His opposite number didn't seem too perturned though.
"We were looking at bowling first," admitted Sachin Tendulkar. His bowlers vindicated his statement later.
Kolkata welcomed Chris Gayle into the side, resting Brad Hodge [ Images ].
The home side rested Sanath Jayasuriya [ Images ] for the game, Ryan McLaren taking his place. Also Shikar Dhawan came in for the injured Ambati Rayudu.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Sourav Ganguly (captain), Owais Shah, Cheteshwar Pujara [ Images ], Chris Gayle, W Saha, Angelo Mathews [ Images ], Murali Kartik, Shane Bond, Ishant Sharma, Ashoke Dinda, Harpreet Singh.
Mumbai Indians: Sachin Tendulkar (captain), Saurabh Tiwary, R Satish, Shikar Dhawan, Aditya Tare, Dwayne Bravo [ Images ], Kieron Pollard, Ryan McLaren, Harbhajan Singh [ Images ], Zaheer Khan [ Images ], Lasith Malinga [ Images ].