Mohali: Parthiv Patel shone with a breezy 58-ball 81 and powered Mumbai Indians to a 25-run win over Kings XI Punjab whose campaign turned from bad to worse in the Indian Premier League cricket tournament, here on Monday.
Chasing a stiff target of 190, Kings XI Punjab were restricted to 164 for seven in the stipulated 20 overs.
This was Mumbai Indians' third win in seven outings, while the Punjab franchise suffered its fifth defeat in six appearances.
Invited to bat, Mumbai Indians rode on Patel's knock, his best in IPL, and Ambati Rayudu's 65 off 37 balls to record their highest score against Kings XI Punjab in the cash-rich league.
Jos Buttler blazed his way to 24 off 13 balls with the help of three fours and a six as the visitors posted a competitive 189 for six.
For Kings XI Punjab, Glenn Maxwell finally found form as he top-scored with 56 off 39 balls, hitting five boundaries and a six. Shaun Marsh made 45 off 34 balls with the help of three fours and a six.
Jasprit Bumrah was the pick of MI bowlers, returning impressive figures of 3/26.
Batting second, the hosts lost openers Murali Vijay (19) and Manan Vohra (7) cheaply with just 32 runs on the board in five overs.
Marsh and Maxwell then got together and rebuilt the innings by playing sensibly. While they ran the singles and twos, on and off, the Australian duo found the fence to keep the scoreboard moving with the run rate hovering around 7.5-8 an over.
In the halfway stage of the innings, Kings XI Punjab were 75 for the loss of two wickets, still needing 115 runs from 10 overs.
The home side reached the 100 in the 13th over and, after Maxwell hit his fifth boundary, Marsh broke the shackles with a six over long-on off Harbhajan Singh.
In the next over, Maxwell sent the ball soaring over in the same direction for similar result, the bowler being Tim Southee. However, Punjab were dealt a blow at a crucial juncture as Marsh fell in the same over to bring to an end a partnership of 89 runs for the third wicket.
Soon after, Maxwell cruised to his half century in 33 balls. But Maxwell too got out after a while and the asking rate just kept heading north, even as KXIP skipper David Miller remained not out on 30 off 17 balls.
Patel smashed 10 fours and two sixes, while Rayudu hit four boundaries and as many maximums. The total could have been more had it not been for Mohit Sharma's brilliant last over in which he conceded just four runs. Mohit was the most successful bowler for KXIP with figures of 3/38, two of them coming in that final over.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians were dealt a body blow in the first over itself with nothing on the board, when medium pacer Sandeep Sharma had skipper Rohit Sharma caught behind by Nikhil Naik with his second delivery.
Patel and Rayudu ensured there was no further setback for the next 15 overs, as they put on 137 runs runs for the second wicket till Rayudu was dismissed by Axar Patel.
Rayudu was lucky to get a life when Axar dropped an absolute sitter at deep midwicket off the bowing of Pardeep Sahu. Rayudu was batting on 33 then.
During the rebuilding phase, the two batsmen mixed caution with aggression and helped their team to safety before opening up to play freely.
Even as Rayudu smashed Glenn Maxwell over long-on for a maximum to up the ante, Patel followed suit and flicked Sahu over long-on for a six in the 11th over at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium.
Rayudu then hit Axar for a straight six and a four through the cover region. Rayudu got to his half century in 31 balls, while Patel reached the landmark a little later after facing 41 balls.
Patel followed that by hitting Mohit Sharma for two boundaries, and then sent a full-pitched Mitchell Johnson delivery through cover for a four. He did not stop there as Johnson was soon lofted over midwicket for another boundary.
Rayudu then once again got into the act, striking Axar for two towering sixes to increase MI's run rate. However, going for one too many, Rayudu holed out to Manan Vohra at deep midwicket.
Patel finally got out in the 19th over off a sharp Johnson delivery.