Mumbai, May 19 (IANS) Opener Lendl Simmons struck a much needed half-century and Kieron Pollard chipped in with a late cameo to help Mumbai Indians post a challenging 187/6 in 20 overs against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 qualifier 1 at the Wankhede Stadium here on Tuesday.
For Mumbai, Simmons (65; 51b, 3×4, 5×6) and Pollard (41; 17b, 1×4, 5×6) topped the scoring chart. Dwayne Bravo (3/40) was the pick of the CSK bowlers.
Opting to bat, Mumbai got off to a modest start with openers Simmons and Parthiv Patel taking their time to get settled in the first four overs, scoring just 22.
Simmons broke the shackles in the fifth over as spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was hit for two sixes. Thirteen runs were scored in the over.
The over of Ashwin set the momentum for the home side as both the openers kept on striking the ball sweetly to all parts of the park thus bringing up team’s 50 in 6.2 overs.
Simmons, who is Mumbai Indians’ leading run-scorer in the ongoing season once again, proved his worth as he made a mockery off the bowling thus bringing up his half-century off just 38 balls.
The West Indian also became the third batsman after Sachin Tendulkar and J.P. Duminy to score five half-centuries in an IPL season for Mumbai.
Parthiv gave good support to his opening partner rotating the strike and sneaking in a couple of boundaries to help the team reach the score of 86 after 10 overs.
A bowling change by skipper M.S. Dhoni worked wonders for CSK as Dwayne Bravo got Parthiv (35) caught at long off. Mumbai’s score was 90/1 in 10.4 overs.
Simmons, who was looking good for a big score, fell soon after in the 14th over.
Looking to strike it big, the West Indian mistimed the ball as Pawan Negi running in from deep cover took a superb catch off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja.
Incoming batsmen, skipper Rohit Sharma (19), Hardik Pandya (1), Ambati Rayudu (10) too went back to the pavilion in the space of four overs.