Durban - A spinning masterclass from Pragyan Ojha and disciplined back-up from Venugopal Rao ensured Deccan Chargers consolidated their position at the top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) table with a 12-run victory over Mumbai Indians on Saturday.
Chasing 169, Mumbai looked destined for victory when they entered the final 10 overs of their innings needing 85 to win with nine wickets in hand and star batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and JP Duminy at the crease.
But Ojha's three for 21 swung the match as he had Tendulkar caught at short extra cover by Herschelle Gibbs for 36, then removed Shikhar Dhawan and Duminy (47) in consecutive overs.
"I was nervous coming into the match, but I know that if I work hard I can do it, and at the end of the day I did it for my team," said Ojha.
Fellow spinner Rao squeezed the batsmen at the other end, allowing just 21 runs from his first three overs as Mumbai managed a meagre 24 runs in the five overs after the 'strategy break'.
Dwayne Bravo and Harbhajan Singh led spirited resistance, but when Fidel Edwards removed fellow West Indian Bravo for 21, Mumbai's fate was sealed and they ended their innings on 156 for seven.
An opening stand of 63 between Adam Gilchrist and Gibbs set the Chargers up for a big total after they won the toss and elected to bat under sunny Kingsmead skies.
Even after Gilchrist had fallen for 35 to the bowling of Bravo, Gibbs continued the assault on Mumbai's bowlers with Dwayne Smith as Deccan reached 124 for one in the 13th over.
But when Smith was bowled by Sanath Jayasuriya for 35, his dismissal instigated a collapse and none of the batsmen who followed reached double figures.
Top scorer Gibbs was run out for a feisty 58 as Deccan made 168 for eight in 20 overs.
Deccan Chargers: 168 for nine (Herschelle Gibbs 58, Adam Gilchrist 35, Dwayne Smith 35; Lasith Malinga three for 19, Dwayne Bravo three for 34)
Mumbai Indians: 156 for seven (JP Duminy 47, Sachin Tendulkar 36; Pragyan Ojha three for 21, Fidel Edwards two for 27, Rudra Singh two for 27).
+ Meanwhile rain is falling in Cape Town and the match between the Kolkata Knight Riders against the Chennai Super Kings has been delayed.