Sachin Tendulkar played a little gem of an innings to send a smile wider than the Grand Canyon across the faces of the home crowd at the Wankhede Stadium, as the Mumbai Indians crushed the Kolkata Knight Riders by 65-runs in a one-sided IPL 2013 game.
Thanks to a brilliant 28-ball 48 from Tendulkar, and some late hitting by the Mumbai Indians batsmen, the home side posted 170 for six in their 20 overs, with the target proving to be well beyond KKR, who finished on a paltry 105 in 18.2 overs.
Mumbai zoomed to second place in the points table with 16 points from 12 games, the same as Rajasthan Royals, and only two less than leaders CSK. With just four games remaining, KKR are staring at an early elimination from IPL 2013 - not something that Gautam Gambhir and co. would have envisaged as they set about trying to defend their IPL crown.
The chase was never really on for KKR, as one batsman after another kept disappointing.
Skipper Gambhir, the one who has been the most adamant about his team's chances of making the playoffs, was the first to go, for a duck after playing on to Mitchell Johnson (two for 13) in the fourth ball of the innings.
Fellow opener Manvinder Bisla was lucky to survive in the third over, with Harbhajan Singh missing a sitter at slip off Johnson.
However, off the first delivery after the powerplay, Bisla's luck ran out, with the right-hander caught out of the crease while going for an expansive drive off Ojha as Dinesh Karthik, quick as a cat, knocked down the bails.
Yusuf Pathan (13, 8b, 1x4, 1x6), who played a nice little innings in the last game, threatened to power KKR, but after a couple of boundaries, Ojha (two for 23) found a way through the defences of the slugger in the ninth over.
Jacques Kallis (24, 26b, 2x4, 1x6) was gone as well next over, holing out to Abu Nechim off Harbhajan Singh (three for 27).
KKR were starting down the barrel at 62 for four, needing 109 runs from the last ten overs. If anyone was going to pull a David Miller, it had to be Eoin Morgan, but the left-hander also disappointed, slicing one to Rohit Sharma off Nechim for just five.
Debabrata Das, who smashed a couple of sixes and fours on his way to a 17-ball 23, was then picked up by Harbhajan, before Ryan McLaren was run out in the very next ball, leaving KKR teetering on 89 for seven.
Harbhajan picked up his third wicket off the last delivery of his four-over spell, dismissing Rajat Bhatia, before KKR folded up after just about getting past the 100-run mark.
Earlier, Sachin Tendulkar dazzled the home crowd with a fine innings, before the Mumbai Indians scored big in the final couple of overs to take the total beyond KKR's reach.
Tendulkar and Dwayne Smith were again the openers for MI, and while Smith struggled to get going, his partner at the other end, was in the mood.
The fourth over from Ryan McLaren was vintage Tendulkar, smashing the South African fast bowler for five boundaries to get himself off to a rocking start.
Smith has not been his belligerent self in the past few games, and that trend continued with the West Indian struggling to score freely, not even managing a run-a-ball during his innings.
With Tendulkar going all-guns-blazing at the other end, though, MI kept the run rate at around the seven-run mark, before the Little Master's wicket triggered a mini-collapse.
Tendulkar (48, 28b, 8x4), just two runs short of what would have been a deserved half-century, was castled by Rajat Bhatia, after missing the ball while going for a paddle sweep around the corner.
Dwayne Smith's (47, 53b, 7x4) struggle at the crease ended in the next over - the 13th - when the opener holed out to McLaren at long-on off Iqbal Abdulla.
Rohit Sharma, in brilliant form in IPL 2013, smashed a couple of boundaries and looked to be on his way to another quickfire innings, before some outstanding fielding from Eoin Morgan saw him walking back to the pavilion.
Sharma (16, 11b, 1x4, 1x6) pulled McLaren to square-leg, with Morgan completing the catch at the first attempt right at the ropes; however, the Irishman realizing the fact that he was off balance and about to fall over, popped the ball up, before stepping back into the field of play to complete the catch a second time.
Kieron Pollard fell for just four a few balls later, top-edging one to Sunil Narine off McLaren, before Ambati Rayudu was run out without facing a delivery off the next ball.
Harbhajan Singh was also run out without facing a single ball in the penultimate over as MI looked to find that final gear to take the total beyond 160 at the least.
With the score on 145 from 19 overs, Gambhir decided to give McLaren, who had conceded 36 runs in his three overs, the ball, despite L Balaji giving away a miserly seven in his three, including a maiden over.
That decision turned out to be disastrous, with the South African pacer conceding a massive 25 runs in the final over to allow Mumbai Indians to a big score of 170 for six.