Simmons, Pollard fire as Mumbai win IPL
KOLKATA, India (CMC):
A brilliant half-century and a late onslaught from West Indies cricketers Lendl Simmons and Kieron Pollard set the stage for Mumbai Indians to complete a commanding 41-run win over Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and reclaim their title as champions of the Indian Premier League (IPL) here yesterday.
Simmons slammed a top score of 68, while his Trinidad and Tobago colleague, Pollard, struck 36 from 18 balls as Mumbai, who won the title two years ago, posted a solid 202 for five from 20 overs at Eden Gardens.
Another West Indies batsman, opener Dwayne Smith, offered early hope for CSK with a risky half-century, but his departure was a major blow to their run chase, which petered out at 161 for eight in 20 overs.
Simmons faced 45 balls, hitting eight fours and three sixes to complete 500 runs in the IPL this season, before succumbing to a yorker from fellow Smith that kissed the outside of his off stump.
He shared in a 119-run partnership for the second wicket with captain Rohit Sharma, who blasted 50 from 26 balls.
Pollard led an all-out attack on the bowling, putting on a half-century stand with Ambati Rayudu, who was not out on 36. The T&T all-rounder was brutal on Ashish Nehra, scoring three sixes and a four from the 17th over.
Barbadian Smith survived a few scary moments until he found his touch to top score with a 48-ball 57 for CSK, before he was lbw to Harbhajan Singh.
Smith, who hit nine fours and a six, was beaten while attempting to sweep a top spinner from Singh. He featured in a 66-run stand for the second wicket with Suresh Raina, who was stumped for 28.
The CSK's chances of mounting a serious challenge dwindled with the frequent loss of wickets, including captain MS Dhoni for 18, and Dwayne Bravo for nine.
Mumbai's triumph against two-time title holders CSK crowns a remarkable turnaround, in which they transformed a terrible start - after sitting at the bottom of the table for two weeks - into a title win.