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By Bharath Ramaraj
May 19, 2014
Both Michael Hussey and Lendl Simmons erected a solid platform for Mumbai Indians to setup a large edifice against Rajasthan Royals in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 at Ahmadabad. In the end, they ended up with 178 for the loss of three wickets on the board. It was Simmons, who first opened up his shoulders by essaying fine shots. It was then, Hussey who took over by collecting a few boundaries. The way he rocked onto the back-foot to smash a six off Rajat Bhatia showcased his class. Hussey also played a fine slog sweep to thwack Ankit Sharma for a majestic six. He then went onto complete his half-century of just 32 balls. Here is a batsman who is slowly but steadily coming back to form in IPL 7.
Just like a turbocharged engines then, Kieron Pollard and Rohit Sharma used their pyrotechnics to essay a few big shots right at the end of the innings to up the ante. In the last over of the game, they collected 16 runs. Sanju Samson missed an easy run out chance off Pollard and that may cost them the match in the end. However, Rohit, though would be ruing the fact that he came back to form when Mumbai don’t have any chance to qualify for Playoffs. Actually, it was a fine throw from Dhawal Kulkarni from the deep mid-wicket region.
Shane Watson shuffled his bowlers well. But even on a slightly dry track, they weren’t able to steam the run flow. Kulkarni, who opened the bowling for Rajasthan bowled with decent control for them. Other than him, Ankit bowled reasonably well for them. To make it worse for Rajasthan, Watson the skipper dropped a touch chance off the bowling of Rajat Bhatia, the medium pacer. To add insult to injury, Simmons then clambered the medium pacer for a sumptuous six.
Kevon Cooper, the all-rounder also came in for some severe punishment, as he was smashed for a six during the 14th over of the game. Finally, Simmons got out for a well-measured innings, when he was caught by Cooper, the boundary rider, off the bowling of Ankit. Ankit also got the wicket of Hussey. He too was caught in the deep by Cooper. Earlier, Mumbai won the toss and elected to bat against Rajasthan on a dry track in IPL 2014. It was Simmons, who has been in fine form this season who opened the batting with the experienced campaigner, Hussey.
Surprisingly, Rajasthan dropped Pravin Tambe for the game. Shane Watson, who missed the last game though made a comeback into the game. The second over of the game was bowled by Kulkarni, the medium pacer. He hardly got any movement off the track. Simmons, on the other end of the spectrum looked to play his shots mainly through the on side. The third over of the game was bowled by Ankit, who continued to bowl with decent control. Both openers struggled to get him away. Simmons tried to play inside out shots, yet struggled to score boundaries.
Mumbai Indians 178 for 3 in 20 overs (Michael Hussey 56, Lendl Simmons 62, Rohit Sharma 40; Ankit Sharma 2 for 23) vs Rajasthan Royals.
(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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