IPL 2014 Match 44: Simmons and Hussey star in Mumbai’s comfortable win over Rajasthan

Hussey was named Man of the Match for his superb knock of 56

Hussey was named Man of the Match for his superb knock of 56

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

The Mumbai Indians’ opening pair of Lendl Simmons and Michael Hussey both smashed half-centuries to lead their side to a comfortable 25-run win over the Rajasthan Royals in Ahmedabad.

Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma would have been delighted with his decision to bat first as Simmons and Hussey amassed a 120-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Simmons was caught by Kevon Cooper off the bowling of Ankit Sharma.

Simmons’ fantastic knock of 62 came off 51 balls and included six boundaries and two sixes.

Simmons hammered six boundaries and two sixes during his magnificent innings of 62

Simmons hammered six boundaries and two sixes during his magnificent innings of 62

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Sharma struck again three balls later when Hussey was also caught by Cooper for 56 off 39 deliveries, which included three boundaries and two sixes.

Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard kept the runs flowing with a 56-run partnership before Sharma was run out by James Faulkner off the last ball of the innings for 40 off just 19 balls, which included three boundaries and four sixes.

Pollard remained unbeaten on 14 as Mumbai finished on 178/3 off their 20 overs.

Sharma took two wickets, while all the other bowlers came up short in the wicket department.

Chasing 179 to win, Rajasthan never looked like they were going to win the match as they lost their entire top and middle order for 75 runs.

Opening batsman Karun Nair was the standout performer as he scored 48 off 24 balls, which included four boundaries and three sixes.

Faulkner and Brad Hodge put a stop to the embarrassment as they put together a 69-run partnership before Hodge was caught by Sharma at wide long-on off the bowling of Krishmar Santokie.

Hodge’s solid knock of 40 came off 30 deliveries and included three sixes.

Faulkner ended up making 31 off 21 balls, which included one boundary and two sixes, as Rajasthan fell short of their target by 25 runs.

Santokie, Pragyan Ojha, Harbhajan Singh and Shreyas Gopal all claimed two wickets each.

Rajasthan captain Shane Watson was disgusted with his team’s performance, and said: “We misread the conditions. I did not think it would turn as much as it did in the second innings. Mumbai’s world-class spinners made it very difficult to score. Wasn’t really No 8 (for Hodge). We were trying a few options to make an impact through that middle period. Mumbai played very well, they batted very well. We did not think the pitch was going to change as much as it did.”

Sharma was pleased with the win, and said: “It was a good win. We do not want to think too far ahead. We want to keep winning and stay in the tournament as long as possible. We played fantastically today. Posting a total like that was not easy on this wicket. It was slow, it was turning.”

Hussey was named Man of the Match, and said: “I enjoyed the opening partnership. Lendl is a good striker of the ball. The wicket slowed down as the innings progressed. I have been working in the nets and hoping for another opportunity. We were saying ‘no twos.’ It was that hard (with the heat), so you either hit a four or a six. It was a pretty good total on that pitch.”

 

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