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Lendl Simmons has been in sublime touch and the ton against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) adds more recognition to the impressive outings for Mumbai Indians (MI). Bharath Ramaraj looks back at his crackerjack ton that he essayed against table toppers Kings XI Punjab in IPL 7. It also turned out to be the first century of IPL 2014.
As Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) players took the field to defend a modest score of 156 on a flat deck at Mohali, they couldn’t have envisaged them being battered and bruised by some sparkling stroke-play from the bat of Lendl Simmons.
Simmons explored every arc in the field and played with a typical West Indian panache and flourish. He also went onto compile the first ton of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014. He started his innings with a few boundaries, while up against medium pacer, Sandeep Sharma. It was the way he stepped out of the crease to flat bat Sandeep in front of the wicket that gave an inkling we were about to watching something special.
Sandeep continued to come in for some severe punishment. With a thundering debonair square cut he pierced the gap through the off-side for a boundary. It wasn’t great bowling from Sandeep’s part, as George Bailey the captain of Punjab had brought the third man up.
Beuran Hendricks, the left arm seamer too was spanked to all corners of the ground. He kept on testing halfway down the track and Simmons didn’t need a second invitation to thwack him for boundaries. Rishi Dhawan, the swing/seam bowler bowled a touch better to him. But whenever he bowled short and wide, Simmons clambered into Dhawan’s bowling as well.
One of the highlights of Simmons’ innings was the way he cleared his front leg and flat batted Akshar Patel, the slow left arm orthodox over the bowler’s head for a sumptuous. He also clouted Shivam Sharma for a towering six over wide long on. As the ball kept disappearing into the crowd, Punjab didn’t have a clue about what to do next. Simmons just kept playing breathtaking shots with ruthless effect.
Lendl Simmons has brought a whiff of fresh air into IPL 7 with his thrill-a-minute knocks. He has also injected a bit of spark into a misfiring Mumbai camp. For the defending champions Mumbai Indians to qualify for playoffs, they need Simmons to keep playing with fearless courage and touch compelling peaks.
(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)
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