There was no vintage innings from Sachin Tendulkar on his 40th birthday, but his side -- the Mumbai Innings -- pulled off a thrilling five-wicket win over the struggling Kolkata Knight Riders in their IPL 2013 match at a packed Eden Gardens.
In a match which was delayed by half-an-hour due to rain, KKR chose to bat first after winning the toss, but failed to capitalize on a blazing start, finishing their 20 overs on 159 for six.
Led by a half-century from Dwayne Smith, the Mumbai Indians overhauled the target with a ball to spare, ending up on 162 for five.
Mumbai Indians move closer to the playoff spots with their fourth win in seven, while the defending IPL champions KKR are now in serious trouble, having lost five of their seven matches.
There was no Ricky Ponting for the Mumbai Indians, as the skipper dropped himself, with Rohit Sharma standing in as the captain.
That meant Smith was again given the opportunity to bat with the birthday boy Tendulkar. Smith took the bulk of the strike in the first four overs as Mumbai made a solid start.
Tendulkar, with the crowd, dominated by KKR supporters, anticipating some brilliance from their hero, unfortunately disappointed. Sunil Narine produced a brilliant off-spinner, which drew Tendulkar (2) forward, before finding a way through the gate and crashing into the stumps.
Smith, though, was looking good at the other end and he continued to cart the KKR bowlers around with great effect, as the West Indian raced to his 50 from just 34 balls.
MI, however, lost their second wicket soon after with the in-form Dinesh Karthik (7), the victim of a dodgy lbw decision off the bowling of Suchitra Senanayake.
Skipper for the day Sharma came in to give company to the marauding Smith, before taking control of the run chase once Smith (62, 45b, 3x4, 5x6) holed out to substitute fielder Brendon McCullum off Narine.
Mumbai needed 78 from nine overs at that point, as Sharma, along with Kieron Pollard, batted intelligently, inching MI closer to the target. With the Mumbai Indians on 104 for three from 13 overs, Pollard was given a big let-off, as McCullum failed to pick the ball under the lights, with the New Zealander letting it through for a boundary - the same thing had happen to Eoin Morgan in an earlier game.
Sharma and Pollard took the Mumbai Indians to 132 for three in 16.5 overs, needing just 28 from 19 deliveries, before that man Narine again picked up a crucial wicket.
Sharma (34, 28b, 1x4, 2x6) was flummoxed by a delivery that just stopped, top edging one straight back to Narine, who as always, finished with exemplary figures of 4-0-17-3, while taking back the ownership of the Purple Cap.
But, with Pollard at the crease Mumbai Indians were always the favourites and courtesy a couple of big hits, the West Indian took the equation to ten runs from the last over.
Rajat Bhatia came up trumps in the first ball of the final over, as Pollard (33, 24b, 2x4, 1x6) holed out to Manoj Tiwary at long-off, which meant the onus was now on Ambati Rayudu and new batsman Harbhajan Singh.
Bhajji smashed a six off the third ball, taking a single the next, as Mumbai needed two from the last two. Rayudu finished things off with a boundary to seal a much-needed win.
Earlier, KKR got off to a great start, but then lost their way just a little in the middle, with no batsman going on and playing a big innings.
Gautam Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan again opened the batting, and the first over from Harbhajan Singh went for a massive 26 runs.
Yusuf got the ball rolling, smashing three fours and a six off the off-spinner in the first four deliveries, before Gambhir chipped in with a maximum of his own.
Pathan, as he so often does, could not convert the good start into a big score as he edged one off Mitchell Johnson (two for 26) in the next over to slip, with the man who had got murdered in the first over - Harbhajan - completing the catch.
Gambhir and Jacques Kallis put together 41 runs in a little under seven overs, as Mumbai Indians looked to claw their way back into the game.
The KKR skipper, Gambhir (26, 20b, 2x4, 1x6), yet again failed to make use of a good start, top edging a Pragyan Ojha delivery, with Harbhajan taking his second catch.
Kallis was getting a little stuck at the other end, managing just around a run a delivery, and his 37-ball 38-run (4x4) stay in the middle was ended by Ojha, who finished with excellent figures of 4-0-21-2.
KKR were 92 for three in 11.4 overs at that point, and it was up to Manoj Tiwary and Eoin Morgan to take their side to a target befitting of their start.
Both players looked decent out in middle, taking the singles and the twos, while finding the boundaries every odd over or so.
Tiwary looked to crank it up in the 16th over, hitting Yuzvendra Chahal for a four and a six, before Morgan did the same a couple of overs later off Mitchell Johnson. The Mumbai fast bowlers had the last laugh, though, picking up the Irishman. Morgan (31, 25b, 4x4, 1x6), looking to pull one over midwicket, was done in a little by the pace of Johnson, with Sharma taking a nice catch.
A decent penultimate over from Pollard followed, before Lasith Malinga (two for 25) bowled a brilliant last over, giving away just three runs, while picking up the wickets of Tiwary and Debabrata Das, as KKR finished on 159 for six from their 20 overs.