DD v MI Player of the Match: Lendl Simmons

The West Indian played a sprightly knock at the top of the order to lay a solid foundation to Mumbai Indians’ big total of 212, and eventually its 146-run victory.

Lendl Simmons scored 66 off 43 balls.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Compact and power-packed opener Lendl Simmons impressed upon his return to the Mumbai Indians side with a sizzling half-century that laid the foundation for the huge total - in hindsight anyway - of 212. He found able allies in Parthiv Patel, who played a lively innings of 25, and Kieron Pollard, who turned out to be even more belligerent in the overall analysis than his compatriot partner. Both West Indians hit five fours and four sixes, but the slight difference in the strike-rate - 180 to Simmons’ 153 - could be attributed to the opener’s brief period of grappling at the start of his team’s innings.

Simmons came out through that period unscathed, and as he confessed in his post-match comments, the ball began to come on to the bat a lot better once dew settled in. For the first three overs or so, he struggled to put bat on ball, but in the more suitable phase that began with Kagiso Rabada’s over, he threw caution to the wind to do what he was inducted in for. He brought out the pull shot that he specialises in, to hit the first six of the night - depositing Rabada away through midwicket. In the same over, he made room and slashed a delivery through the off side, to churn out a boundary.

Over the course of the next 10 overs, Simmons mostly played the drive, the slog and the pull to conjure his boundaries for a 43-ball 66. He got out against the run of play in the 13th over, but it didn’t matter much as the mantle was taken over by Pollard, who provided finishing touches to the innings.

The demolition was complete when the bowlers bowled Delhi Daredevils out for 66, for Mumbai Indians’ biggest win in the IPL in terms of runs, ever.

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