Pollard, Simmons struggle but Mumbai win
MUMBAI, India – West Indies teammates Kieron Pollard and Lendl Simmons had little impact as Mumbai Indians stormed into the playoffs of the Indian Premier League with a sensational five-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals here Sunday.
Chasing 190 for victory but needing to reach their target off 88 deliveries, Mumbai stormed to 195 for five off the required overs, to clinch fourth place in the standings.
The Royals started the game with their noses in front for a playoff spot, and needed to avoid defeat or restrict Mumbai to victory outside of the stipulated overs, in order to progress.
And when opener Sanju Samson top scored with 70 from 47 balls and Karun Nair struck an even 50 from 27 balls to get the them up to 189 for four after being sent in, it appeared as if the Royals had done enough.
However, Mumbai came roaring back, mainly through New Zealander Corey Anderson who blasted 95 not out from 44 balls, to see the hosts over the line.
Opener Simmons came out swinging, cracking three fours – all in the first over from Australia seamer James Faulkner – in his 12 from eight deliveries before lifting seamer Dhawal Kulkarni to Faulkner at mid on in the second over.
Sent at number four, Pollard lofted fellow Trinidadian Kevon Cooper over long on for six but then scooped the next delivery from the seamer to Brade Hodge at square leg, to fall for seven in the fifth over.
However, Ambati Rayudu with 30 from ten balls, joined Anderson in an 81-run stand off 31 deliveries, to ensure Mumbai did not lose momentum.
Mumbai will now face Dwayne Smith and the Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday, with Sunil Narine’s Kolkata Knight Riders squaring off with Kings XI Punjab in the first playoff game on Tuesday.