CLT20 Qualifying Round 4th Match: Simmons and Hussey annihilate Southern Express

Simmons was named Man of the Match for his unbeaten knock of 76

Simmons was named Man of the Match for his unbeaten knock of 76

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

The Mumbai Indians’ opening pair of Michael Hussey and Lendl Simmons both smashed scintillating half-centuries to lead their side to a convincing nine-wicket win over the Southern Express in Raipur.

Mumbai Indians captain Kieron Pollard would have been thrilled with his decision to bowl first after Southern Express opening batsman Kusal Perera was caught by Shreyas Gopal at midwicket off the bowling of Jasprit Bumrah for eight runs.

Yashodha Lanka only made nine runs before he was caught by Ambati Rayudu at long-on off the bowling of Pollard.

Danushka Gunathilaka managed to make 30 runs before he was caught by Harbhajan Singh at point off the bowling of Jalaj Saxena.

Southern Express skipper Jehan Mubarak scored 16 runs before he was clean bowled by Pragyan Ojha.

Seekkuge Prasanna hit 15 runs before he was run out by wicketkeeper Aditya Tare.

Angelo Perera made a useful 28 before he was cleaned up by Lasith Malinga.

Thanks to Farveez Maharoof’s unbeaten 41 off 22 balls, which included three boundaries and two sixes, Southern Express finished on 161/6 off their 20 overs.

Bumrah, Pollard, Malinga, Saxena and Ojha picked up one wicket apiece.

Chasing 162 to win, Mumbai got off to a superb start as Hussey and Simmons amassed a 139-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Hussey was caught by Angelo Perera at deep square leg off the bowling of Sachith Pathirana.

Hussey’s excellent knock of 60 came off 40 balls and included five boundaries and three sixes.

Hussey walloped five boundaries and three sixes during his innings of 60

Hussey walloped five boundaries and three sixes during his innings of 60

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Simmons and Pollard mopped up the remaining runs with ease to lead Mumbai to a comfortable nine-wicket win.

Simmons ended up scoring 76 off 51 balls, which included 11 boundaries and a six, while Pollard remained undefeated on 20 off seven deliveries, which included three sixes.

Pathirana was the only bowler to take a wicket.

Mubarak was disappointed to have lost the match, and said: “They batted really well. They played the percentages really well when the ball was doing a bit. The ball got wet with the dew and it came on for their big hitters. We had a poor first half with the bat today. Hopefully we can rectify that [on Tuesday]. Not having Lasith is a big loss to us. The fast bowlers bowled pretty well. Hopefully we’ll take something away from this. We’ve not played our best brand of cricket. Next game is a day game, so hopefully dew will be less of an issue for the spinners.”

Pollard was pleased with his team’s performance, and said: “Much better performance tonight. We need to improve our fielding. If we field like that against better teams, they’re going to kill us. We made it hard for ourselves by giving them 160. It could have easily been 120. Congratulations to Simmons who got some runs, but there’s a lot of room for improvement.”

Simmons was named Man of the Match, and said: “I did a bit of grafting up top while the ball was nipping around. We needed to get a good start and me and Huss did that today.”

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