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MUMBAI—West Indies batsman Lendl Simmons once again played a key role as Mumbai Indians beat Delhi Daredevils by 15 runs to remain in the hunt for a playoff spot in the Indian Premier League yesterday. Playing at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai piled up 173 all out off 19.3 overs after being sent in, and then restricted Delhi to 158 for four. The victory carried Mumbai fifth in the standings on 12 points, with a single match left to play in the preliminary round. Simmons struck a measured 35 to follow up his maiden Twenty20 century earlier in the week, posting 87 off 48 balls for the first wicket with Australian Mike Hussey who hit the top score of 56. The enterprising Trinidadian right-hander faced 25 balls and counted five fours before he was caught in the deep, mis-timing an attempted big hit off South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir and slicing a catch to Wayne Parnell at cover.
A late call up as a replacement for the injured Jalaj Saxena, Simmons now has 315 runs from just six innings. Captain Rohit Sharma then chipped in with 30 but Mumbai lost their last eighth wicket for 33 runs, as their innings tailed away badly. Simmons’s Windies teammate Kieron Pollard blasted the first ball he received back overhead for six off spinner JP Duminy but managed just 11 before edging a full length delivery from left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat behind in the 15th over. In reply, Duminy top scored with 45 from 29 balls while England stroke-maker Kevin Pietersen hit 44 from 31 balls. However, Mumbai’s bowlers strangled the Delhi batsmen, and they were always behind the eight-ball. Delhi lie bottom of the table and have already been eliminated from playoff contention. In the other match, Kings XI Punjab ensured they would finish top of the table with their tenth win of the season, handing a comprehensive 16-run defeat to Kevon Cooper’s Rajasthan Royals. The result kept the final playoff spot open, with Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad’s hopes alive, along with Royals’, going into the final round of matches. (CMC)