Mumbai Indians Rohit Sharma
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma hits a shot through the offside during his unbeaten 79 against Kings XI Punjab in their IPL 2013 gameIPL/SPORTZPICS

Rohit Sharma continued his good record as Mumbai Indians captain, playing an absolute blinder to help the Mumbai Indians to a nerve-wracking four-run victory over the Kings XI Punjab.

Sharma (79 in 39) was just at his ruthless best, punishing the Kings XI bowlers in the final overs to take Mumbai to a big total of 174 for three.

David Hussey, David Miller and Praveen Kumar, in the end, threatened to pull off an improbable victory, but the Mumbai Indians just about held on for a thrilling win at the Wankhede Stadium with Kings XI bowled out for 170 in 20 overs.

Mumbai joined the Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore on 12 points from nine games, while Kings XI have now lost five out of nine.

The Punjab side struggled early on, losing two wickets in the first three overs. Mandeep Singh was the first to go, and it was a beautiful piece of bowling from Lasith Malinga.

The Sri Lankan was unlucky not to pick up the Kings XI opener's wicket off the third ball in the second over, when Mandeep edged a delivery, which went past the keeper and slip for a boundary.

In the fifth delivery, Mandeep was beaten with a slow yorker outside off stump, and Malinga followed that up with another similar delivery, this time right at the stumps with Mandeep flummoxed yet again and seeing his timber disturbed.

Manan Vohra did not last long either, gifting a catch to Kieron Pollard at point off Mitchell Johnson an over later.

David Hussey and Shaun Marsh, in for Adam Gilchrist, threatened with a nice little partnership of 39 from just 3.2 overs, with the fifth and sixth overs yielding 15 and 17 runs each. However, once the Australian duo was dismissed, it became extremely difficult for Kings XI.

Marsh (10, 12b, 1x4) was the first to go, courtesy some brilliance from Pollard in the field. The left-hander thought he had hit a maximum off Pragyan Ojha, only to see Superman Pollard grab a one-handed stunner right on the edge of the boundary line - that catch will take some beating for IPL 2013's best.

Hussey and David Miller looked to build a partnership, with Kings XI on 55 for three and needing 120 runs from 13.5 overs. However, Hussey (34, 18b, 5x4, 1x6) attempted just one too many an expansive shot, holing out to Johnson off Ojha (two for 22).

Miller was waging a one-man battle now, with Gurkeerat Singh, Azhar Mahmood and Manpreet Singh Gony coming and going without troubling the scorers an awful lot. Harbhajan Singh picked up all three of the wickets, leaving Kings XI teetering on 111 for seven in 14 overs.

Miller just refused to lie down, though, smashing a huge sixes to take the equation to 37 from the last three overs, with two wickets in hand, following the dismissal of Piyush Chawla in the 17th over.

The South African blasted another maximum of Johnson in the next over, but his brilliant 34-ball 56-run (1x4, 5x6) stay ended when he found Sachin Tendulkar at cover while attempting a shot over the infield.

Praveen Kumar kept up the pressure, hitting Malinga for a six as Kings XI, with just a wicket in hand, took the game to the last over needing 17 runs. The final over from Dhawal Kulkarni had no-balls, wides, a one-handed six and most importantly the wicket of Kumar (24, 15b, 1x4, 2x6) off the last delivery of the innings, as Mumbai clung on for a nervy win.

The first innings was a little disjointed for the Mumbai Indians, with the first ten overs yielding very little runs, while the second half was slam-bang thank you ma'am T20 cricket.

Sachin Tendulkar, opening with Dwayne Smith, looked OK in the first couple of overs, taking Azhar Mahmood for two boundaries. However, Praveen Kumar ended the Little Master's stay in the crease, with Tendulkar (9) playing on to an incoming delivery.

Smith, who has been in good touch over the last couple of games, was struggling to get going, leaving Dinesh Karthik to move the run rate along. Mumbai's wicketkeeper-batsman scored a 19-ball 25 (2x4, 1x6) before playing on to Manpreet Singh Gony in the eighth over.

Smith and Sharma put together 43 runs from just 4.3 overs for the third wicket, taking the score from 43 for two in 7.4 overs to 86 for three in 12.2 overs, as Smith holed out to David Miller at long-on off Piyush Chawla.

Pollard (20, 21b, 1x4, 1x6) arrived in the middle and his first ball was smashed for a straight six, as the West Indian and Sharma built the innings-defining partnership of 88 from a little over seven overs.

The game-changer was of course Sharma, whose blistering 79 (39b, 6x4, 6x6) was highlighted by the immense final over from David Hussey, which went for 27 runs, with the Mumbaikar slamming three sixes and a couple of fours, and with it knocking the stuffing out of Kings XI.

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