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IPL 2014 – MI vs KXIP: Simmons’ Ton Buries Leaders KXIP

By on May 22, 2014

Mumbai Indians 159 for 3 (Simmons 100*) beat Kings XI Punjab 156 for 8 (Bailey 39, Vohra 36, Gopal 2-32) by seven wickets…

Simmons was at his devastating best against table-toppers Kings XI Punjab.

Lendl Simmons (100* off 61 balls) became first player to hit a century this IPL season as Mumbai Indians kept their remote play-off hopes alive, beating table-toppers Kings XI Punjab by seven wickets at Mohali on Wednesday night. It was MI’s fifth win in 12 matches, while KXIP suffered their third defeat in 12 matches.

IPL 2014 - MI vs KXIP: Lendl SimmonsThe West Indian tore into the hosts’ bowling as MI, chasing 157 to win, reached 53 in just 4.4 overs. His dominance could be gauged from the fact he made 42 out of those runs and a brilliant batsman like Michael Hussey contributed just two.

Even after Hussey’s departure for six, Simmons kept tormenting the bowlers. His full-blooded straight shots off spinners Shivam Sharma and Akshar Patel were particularly intimidating.

Ambati Rayudu kept Simmons company for a considerable period and both added 43 off 29 balls to douse any hopes KXIP might have had after Hussey’s departure.

After Rayudu (17) and captain Rohit Sharma (18) fell, Kieron Pollard (7*) joined Simmons, who hit 14 fours and two sixes during his innings, and both took the team over the line with six balls to go. Pollard finished off the match in style, hitting Shivam for a six over long-on.

Earlier, MI spinner Shreyas Gopal took two wickets in the space of three balls, including the prized scalp of Orange Cap holder Glenn Maxwell, to help his team restrict KXIP to 156 for 8. Gopal’s wickets turned out to be very important in the context of the match.

KXIP got off to a great start though, after being put in to bat by MI captain Rohit. Virender Sehwag greeted Harbhajan Singh’s replacement Praveen Kumar with a four and a six off the first two balls of the match. Sehwag (17) was looking in great touch but his stay at the crease was ended by an unfortunate run-out in the third over. Hitting Praveen straight back, the opener was off the blocks but the ball stopped dead after coming in contact with non-striker Vohra’s foot and the bowler, taking advantage of the situation, hit the stumps in a trice.

Shaun Marsh, who came in for David Miller for the match, hit his stride straight away. Vohra and Marsh added 64 for the second wicket to put the hosts in a very strong position. With Maxwell and George Bailey still to come in, KXIP looked well-placed to get a big score.

But West Indies medium pacer Krishmar Santokie returned to see the back of Marsh for 30 as Pollard took a nice catch at long-on. Gopal then got in on the act, cleaning up first Vohra for 36 and following it up with Maxwell’s return catch two balls later.

MI never looked back from there. Wriddhiman Saha (3) and Patel (6) were also sent back to the pavilion soon. Rayudu’s direct throw from mid-on accounted for Saha while Patel found Rohit at extra cover off the bowling of Praveen.

Amid the pitch supporting the spinners, KXIP captain Bailey (39 off 30 balls) played a responsible innings before cutting loose in the last two overs to help his team reach a fighting total. Jasprit Bumrah (2 for 31) eventually accounted for the Aussie . The hosts made just 66 runs in the last ten overs. Gopal returned 2 for 32.

Source: gocricket

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