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Simmons half-century in vain

...but Smith, Narine stay alive
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Mumbai Indians’ Lendl Simmons pulls during his half-century (67) against Chennai Super Kings during the Eliminator in the IPL in Mumbai, yesterday. Mumbai lost by seven wickets, to crash out of the playoffs. Photo: ESPNcricinfo

MUMBAI—Lendl Simmons’s fourth half-century of the Indian Premier League season was in vain as Mumbai Indians went down by seven wickets to Dwayne Smith’s Chennai Super Kings, to crash out of the playoffs yesterday.


Playing at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai posted a challenging 173 for eight, with the West Indies limited overs batsman Simmons top scoring with 67. In reply, Chennai cantered home with eight balls remaining, with Windies T20 opener Smith getting 24.


The victory put CSK into the final qualifier against Kings XI Punjab tomorrow, for a place in Sunday’s final.


Meanwhile, Sunil Narine’s Kolkata Knight Riders secured their spot in the final with an uncomplicated 28-run victory over Kings XI Punjab at Eden Gardens.


The West Indies off-spinner had little impact, conceding 30 runs from his fours overs as Kings XI, chasing 164 for victory, were held to 135 for eight off their 20 overs.


Sent in, Kolkata had put up 163 for eight with opener Robin Uthappa striking a top score of 42 from 30 deliveries.


However, it was Simmons who took centre stage as Mumbai looked to spoil Chennai’s plans by pulling off an upset. The right-handed Trinidadian faced 44 balls and counted five fours and four sixes, as he laid the foundation for a big total.


He put on 76 for the first wicket with Australian Mike Hussey (39) before added a further 44 for the third wicket with captain Rohit Sharma, who made 20.


However, once Simmons fell in the 17th over at 143 for three, the innings quickly declined as Mumbai lost their last six wickets for 23 runs.


Simmons’ West Indies and Trinidad and Tobago teammate, Kieron Pollard, could only manage 14 from eight balls before perishing to a catch at deep square leg by Mohit Sharma, off seamer Ashish Nehra.


Smith then helped CSK to a sound start, adding 60 from 38 balls for the first wicket with Faf du Plessis, who scored 35.


He hit four fours off 20 balls before becoming the first CSK wicket to fall, holing out to Pollard at long-on off off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. Du Plessis followed in the next over and then Brendon McCullum (14) to leave CSK 87 for three in the tenth over, and the outcome in the balance.


However, Suresh Raina stroked an unbeaten 54 from 33 balls and David Hussey, 40 not out from 29 deliveries, in a stand of 89 for the fourth wicket to see CSK to victory. (CMC) 


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