Mumbai Indians' recent gamble of roping in a late addition in the form of the West Indian Lendl Simmons has worked wonders for them. In a must-win game against the Kings XI Punjab, the big-hitting opener slammed the first century of the tournament, eclipsing the 'Glenn Maxwell Show' that has produced three scores in the 90s. He raced to his hundred off 61 balls, including 14 fours and 2 sixes. Chasing a challenging total of 157 on a green-top Mohali wicket, Simmons remained unbeaten on 100 as Mumbai thrashed Punjab by seven wickets to stay in hunt for a place in the playoffs. (KXIP vs MI: As it happened | Match Report)
Reputed for packing a punch, Simmons began the flurry in the very first over with three boundaries of Sandeep Sharma on either side of the wicket. He repeated that in Beuran Hendricks' second over with three more boundaries while his batting partner Michael Hussey silently enjoyed the onslaught from the best seat in the house. (Scorecard | Points Table)
Punjab skipper Bailey threw the ball to spinner Akshar Patel but in vain as Simmons took him apart as well in his first over. Simmons soon brought up his third IPL fifty to put Mumbai right on track by sending the Punjab bowlers on a leather hunt.
Punjab dismissed Hussey in the seventh over but that hardly made an impact on Simmons' strategy as he continued to play his shots.
Ambati Rayudu's wicket after a 45-run stand between him and Simmons, slowed the West Indian down a bit but a six off Sandeep Sharma helped him move into the 90s and get his side closer to a much-needed win.
Even as Rohit Sharma departed in the 18th over, Simmons held his nerve and got past the three-figure mark in the penultimate over before Pollard hit a six to seal the game for Mumbai.