Captain Sachin Tendulkar struck an unbeaten 59-ball 89, his highest Indian Premier League score, to help Mumbai Indians post a competitive 174 for five against Rajasthan Royals here today.
Tendulkar mixed caution with aggression and decorated his innings with 10 fours and two sixes to notch up his fifth half century of the tournament.
Yet again the Mumbai innings revolved around Tendulkar as he first shared crucial 63 runs for the fourth wicket with JP Duminy (31 off 32) and then added 50 runs with Kieron Pollard (25 off 13) to guide the table toppers to the challenging
score especially after they were 30 for three at one stage.
Shane Watson was the pick of the Rajasthan bowlers with figures of three for 37.
Opting to field, Watson came up with double strike for Rajasthan -- Sanath Jayasuriya and Ambati Rayudu -- in the innings second and his first over of the day.
Jayasuriya had a nightmarish return to the Mumbai Indians side as the veteran Sri Lankan lasted only two balls, spooning a Watson delivery down to Abhishek Jhunjhunwala.
Two balls later Watson had the best of Rayudu with a beauty of a bouncer that kissed the right-hander's glove onto wicket-keeper Naman Ojha's safe hands.
Saurabh Tiwary showed some sparkle with three fours before he hooked one straight to Aditya Dole at fine leg to give Watson his third wicket of the day.
Tendulkar, however, was rock solid at the other end and together with Duminy milked the Rajasthan bowling to drag Mumbai out of trouble with the 56-ball 63-run stand.
Tendulkar hit Warne for three boundaries in the 12th over to up the Mumbai run-rate after setting the early foundation. But just when Tendulkar and Duminy started to open up Siddharth Trivedi broke the dangerous partnership, getting the
wicket of the later caught by Michael Lumb off Trivedi.
It could have been double blow for Mumbai three overs later had it not been for Aditya Dole, who dropped the vital wicket of Tendulkar on 45 off Trivedi as the champion batsman went for an extravagant hook.
Having survived a life there was no stopping the Mumbai skipper as he and big-hitting Pollard smashed Rajasthan bowlers to all parts of the ground to notch up the 50-run fifth-wicket partnership that came off just 5.3 overs.
Pollard innings, however, was cut short by a Dole yorker in the 18th over but not before the West Indian struck three
fours and a huge six.
Tendulkar used his long handle to great effect and murdered Trivedi for two sixes and a four to pile up 20 runs of the final over and finish the Mumbai innings in style.
Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne won the toss and elected to bowl against Mumbai Indians in an Indian Premier League match here today.
Rajasthan Royals: Shane Warne (capt), Naman Ojha, Michael Lumb, Shane Watson, Yusuf Pathan, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Abhishek Raut, Shaun Tait, Saurabh Trivedi, Adam Voges, Aditya Dole.
Mumbai Indians: Sachin Tendulkar (capt), Sanath Jayasuriya, Saurabh Tiwary, R Sathish, Ambati Rayudu, Jean-Paul Duminy, Dhawal Kulkarni, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga, Zaheer Khan.