Simmons, Santokie fire Mumbai to easy win

AHMEDABAD, India, CMC – West Indies left-arm seamer Krishmar Santokie took two wickets on his Indian Premier League debut but it was teammate Lendl Simmons’s half-century that fired Mumbai Indians to a comfortable 25-run win over Rajasthan Royals here yesterday.

Opting to bat first at the Sardar Patel Stadium, Mumbai piled up a challenging 178 for three from their 20 overs, with Simmons stroking 62 at the top of the order.

Santokie then picked up two for 50 from his four overs as Royals where limited to 153 for eight in reply.

Mumbai are sixth in the eight-team standings on eight points while Royals remain third on 14 points.

Simmons and Australian Mike Hussey gave Mumbai a great start with an opening stand of 120, before being separated in the 15th over.

The right-handed Simmons faced 51 balls and counted six fours and two sixes in his top score while the left-handed Hussey scored 56 from 39 deliveries, including three fours and two sixes.

Simmons was the first to fall when he holed out in the deep to his Trinidad and Tobago teammate Kevon Cooper off left-arm spinner Ankit Sharma.

Hussey followed in the same over three balls later, also finding Cooper’s lap at deep long on.

Captain Rohit Sharma then arrived to play a blinder, smashing a scintillating 40 from 19 balls with three fours and four sixes, before being run out off the last ball of the innings.

Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies big-hitter Kieron Pollard blasted a six in finishing 14 not out from 12 balls.

Medium pacer Cooper went wicket-less from three overs that cost 27 runs.

In their turn at the crease, Royals lost wickets steadily to decline to 75 for seven in the 12th over.

Opener Karun Nair carried the fight with a top score of 48 from 24 balls but found no support.

Australians Brad Hodge (40) and James Faulkner (31 not out) stroked cameos in a 69-run, eighth-wicket stand but the rally was too little too late.

Santokie suffered at their hands, going for 18 runs in his fourth over – the 19th of the innings – as both players threw caution to the wind.

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