Mumbai Indians [ Images ] moved to the top spot with a comprehensive 41-run win over Deccan Chargers [ Images ] in their Indian Premier League [ Images ] match at the DY Patil Stadium in Nerul (Navi Mumbai) on Sunday.
Chasing 173 to win, the defending champions managed to make just 131 and were dismissed with 14 balls to spare.
Harbhajan Singh [ Images ] gave an all round display scoring an aggressive 49 lower down the order and taking three wickets to make it a one-man show.
It was the team from Mumbai's fifth win in six matches and their second against the team from Hyderabad in five matches.
For the Deccan Chargers, it was their third defeat in six games.
The team from Hyderabad began their chase in the worst possible manner - Harbhajan Singh finding an edge of Adam Gilchrist's [ Images ] (0) blade in just the second ball and Scahin Tendulkar showing quick reflexes at slips to send the dangerman back.
However, Monish Mishra (13) and Herschelle Gibbs [ Images ] (27) combined well to steady the innings, putting on 47 runs for the second wicket.
The South African soon displayed his aggressive streak smashing Zaheer Khan for successive sixes, the first over long-on and the second over long-off, in the fifth over.
However, Zaheer had the last word, having Gibbs caught by Pollard at cover point.
As the field restrictions eased, the team from Hyderabad found itself struggling at 50 for four.
Palpably there was aslowdown in the scoring rate thereafter.
And when T Suman (15) was caught by Harbhajan off his own bowling in the 11th over the writing was clear.
Venugopal Rao [ Images ] (7) hit straight to McLaren to give Kieron Pollard his first wicket and reduce Deccan Chargers to 100 for six at the start of the 14th over.
And Harbhajan accounted for Jaskaran (1) to finish with figures of three for 31.
Zaheer struck twice in the 17th over, removing Sharma (45) and Kemar Roach (10) in the space of three balls to end any hopes of a fightback.
And Malinga cleaned up RP Singh [ Images ] (1) in the 18th over to end the Hyderabad innings.
Earlier, a masterclass 55 by Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar [ Images ] and an aggressive unbeaten 49 by Harbhajan Singh helped Mumbai Indians to a formidable total.
The visitors - Deccan Chargers being the home team for this game - made 172 for seven in their stipulated 20 overs.
72 runs were scored in the last five overs - and 52 off the last three - as Harbhajan and Ryan McClaren's (13 not out) 53-run partnership (off just 20 balls) for the eighth wicket proved to be the best one in the Mumbai Indians' innings.
The bane of the Mumbai's innings, otherwise, was the lack of a decent partnership.
Sachin Tendulkar began the proceedings with successive boundaries off Jaskaran Singh in the second over.
Shikar Dhawan (8) joined the party smashing debutant Kemar Roach to the boundary in the next.
However, Jaskaran trapped Dhawan plumb in front in his second over to give his side the breakthrough.
The Mumbai Indians think tank sprung a surprise by promoting Dwayne Bravo [ Images ] (23) up the order to number three.
And the West Indies [ Images ] allrounder responded to the challenge by smashing Pragyan Ojha's [ Images ] first ball wide off long-on for a maximum and followed it up by chipping down the ground for a boundary.
RP Singh was introduced into the attack in the sixth over and Tendulkar welcomed him with successive boundaries. And Bravo game a similar welcome to Andrew Symonds [ Images ] at the other end.
However, Deccan Chargers made a double breakthrough after the first strategic timeout - taken after the seventh over.
RP Singh first had Bravo caught by Symonds at long-off and ensured a double celebration by finding the edge of Saurabh Tiwary's [ Images ] (4) blade three balls later.
And the team from Hyderabad consolidated their poistion by taking three more wickets in quick succession.
Ambati Rayudu (6), playing in place of Aditya Tare, paid the price for being flaboyant when Ojha had him stumped in his second over.
The wily left-arm spinner, a success story in the second edition in South Africa [ Images ], returned to account for R Sathish (3) in his third over, having the batsman caught by T Suman at short fine leg.
And when Jaskaran had Kieron Pollard (1) caught by Suman (at third man on this occasion) in the next over, Mumbai were in deep trouble.
Mumbai Indians had slumped from 64 for one in the eighth over to 93 for six at the start of the 14th.
However, Tendulkar went on to complete his seventh IPL fifty, his fourth in this edition, with a couple off Symonds.
As the teams headed to their dug outs - for the second timeout 9after 16 overs) - Mumbai Indians were reeling at 110 for six.
And in the fourth ball after resumption, RP Singh accounted for Tendulkar for his third wicket of the innings.
The Master Blaster, having hit a clever boundary over short third man in the previous ball, went for an encore. Only it was a failed attempt.
Tendulkar's 43-ball 55 was inclusive of nine hits to the fence and was a significant contribution in the Mumbai innings.
Harbhajan Singh played a good cameo towards the fag end of the innings.
The Turbanator started his onslaught by smashing Symonds (in the 18th over) wide of long-off for a maximum and followed it up by hitting the boundary straight over the bowler's head.
The penultimate over - bowler by Roach - cost Hyderabad 19 runs, Harbhajan helping himself to three boundaries besides a maximum over deep square leg.
And the final over - shared by Jaskaran and Rohit Sharma after the former was discontinued after two balls - cost Deccan Chargers another 20 runs.
Harbhajan's 18-ball unbeaten 49 was inclusive of eight hits to the fence and two over it.
Earlier, Adam Gilchrist called correctly and decided his Deccan Chargers side will bowl first.
"I just think the wicket has a tinge of softness and hopefully," said Gilchrist, explaining his decision.
His opposite number seemed unperturbed though.
"We wanted to bat first," admitted Tendulkar, adding, "I don't know though what is a good score on this wicket."
Deccan Chargers: Adam Gilchrist (captain), Mohnish Mishra, Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Symonds, Rohit Sharma, T Suman, Venugopal Rao, Jaskaran Singh, Kemar Roach, RP Singh, Pragyan Ojha.
Mumbai Indians: Sachin Tendulkar (captain), Shikar Dhawan, Saurabh Tiwary, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, R Satish, Ryan McLaren, Zaheer Khan, Lasith Malinga.