Simmons Century Keeps Mumbai Alive
Mumbai Indians 159-3 (Simmons 100no) beat
Kings XI Punjab 156-8 by seven wckets
Indian Premier League 2014, Mohali
Lendl Simmons scored the first century of the Indian Premier League 2014 to help the Mumbai Indians beat the Kings XI Punjab by seven wickets in Mohali.
Simmons was unbeaten on 100 in 61 balls as the reigning champions kept their slim chances of reaching the play-offs alive by closing on 159 for three in reply to Punjab's 156 for eight.
Missing David Miller and with Glenn Maxwell falling for just two, the Kings XI's total always looked a little short, and after blasting off early on, Simmons was able to knock the ball around at the end to reach his milestone.
Kings XI have already qualified for the play-offs while Mumbai need to win their final two games - against Delhi and Rajasthan - and hope that other results go their way.
Here though, plenty did go their way as the Kings XI batting failed to build on a good start.
Virender Sehwag opened the match with 10 runs in two balls off Praveen Kumar but only made 17 before he was run out by the same bowler, the ball deflecting off the boot of opening partner Manan Vohra.
Vohra went on to make 36 in 34 balls and Shaun Marsh 30 in 17 but apart from George Bailey's 39 in 30 balls, there was little more to come from the Punjab side.
Jasprit Bumrah (2-31), Shreyas Gopal (2-32), Kumar (1-20) and Krishmar Santokie (1-40) were the wicket-takers as Mumbai launched an effective recovery.
Simmons then struck a series of powerful blows to ensure that Mumbai did not fall into the similar track.
68 runs were on the board when Michael Hussey (6) was boaled by Akshar Patel and 43 runs were added with Ambati Rayudu, who scored 17, for the second wicket.
Simmons' runs, inclusive of 14 fours and two sixes, were scored all around the wicket with his maximums searing blows over wide and straight long-on.
Rohit Sharma (18) got himself out near the end as he tried to grab a single to get Simmons back on strike but only guided a catch to third man.
And although Kieron Pollard came in with eight runs required, he too chose to play a supporting role, allowing Simmons to reach a maiden century in Twenty20 cricket and guide Mumbai to their fifth win of the tournament.
© Cricket World 2014