Simmons, Rayudu see Mumbai through

2014-05-13 00:00

OPENER Lendl Simmons combined with Ambati Rayudu for a match-winning second-wicket partnership of 130 from 87 balls as the Mumbai Indians trounced the Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets with eight balls to spare in their Indian Premier League clash at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad yesterday.

The Sunrisers had posted a seemingly competitive 157 for three on a sluggish pitch courtesy of half centuries from Australian duo Aaron Finch (68) and David Warner (55), and Mumbai were well behind the eight ball after slipping to two for one in the second over.

However, the duo of Simmons and Rayudu battered 11 fours and six maximums in a brilliantly-compiled stand, and although both men perished towards the end, Mumbai cruised to just their third win of the competition.

The West Indian finished with 68 from 50 deliveries, while his partner Rayudu amassed the same score from four fewer balls.

For Hyderabad, only the impressive Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4-0-20-2) stood tall with the ball, and the reverse sums up an inconsistent campaign that sees them remain in fifth place with four wins from nine.

Warner’s late onslaught had appeared to put the hosts firmly in control, and the target of 158 had looked a long way away when the Indians lost Chidhambaram Gautam (1) in the second over.

The Sunrisers continued to apply the pressure, and the score had advanced to just 16 for one by the time Irfan Pathan (2-0-29-0) charged in to bowl the fifth over.

But it was Simmons who then took the game by the scruff of the neck, smashing two sixes and a four off the hapless left armer, and it marked a significant turning point in the game.

Rayudu then showed scant respect to Amit Mishra (3-0-33-0), as he dispatched the spinner’s second delivery into the sight screen. The fifty partnership came up in the ninth over, and the pair continued to press on.

The half century for Simmons was raised from just 39 balls with a mistimed pull in the 13th over for two, while Rayudu brought up the milestone with a comfortable punch down the ground an over later that typified the ease with which their team were coasting to a much-needed win.

Simmons fell in the 16th over going for one too many, as he lost his middle stump to a full-pitched delivery from Kumar, and when Rayudu was pouched off his own bowling by Moises Henriques (3-0-23-0) an over later, there were a few flutters as the visitors still required 17 from 19.

But captain Rohit Sharma (14 not out) dispelled any doubts, as he struck three quick boundaries, and, along with Kieron Pollard (six not out), took his side over the line against a potent bowling attack.

The Sunrisers had earlier won the toss and elected to bat first.

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