Cape Town - Lendl Simmons and Rohit Sharma have plundered a 119-run partnership as the Mumbai Indians claimed the Indian Premier League title as the beat the Chennai Super Kings by 41-runs in the final at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.
The supersport.com website reports that opening batsman Simmons scored 68 off 45 balls with eight fours and three sixes while Rohit smashed his way to 50 off 26 deliveries with six fours and two sixes as Mumbai posted 202-5 after being asked to bat.
Chennai could only manage 161-8 in reply despite opening bat Dwayne Smith scoring 57 off 48 balls while left-arm quick Mitchell McClenaghan claimed 3-25.
The win secured Mumbai’s second IPL title.
Mumbai were reduced to 1-1 in the first over after a wonderful piece of fielding from a diving Faf du Plessis at mid-on after he flicked a throw out of the back of his hand that ran Parthiv Patel (0) out at the non-striker’s end.
But Simmons and Rohit, Mumbai’s top-two leading runs-scorers this season, then took over as their second-wicket stand came up off 11.1 overs.
Rohit’s first scoring shot was an uppercut for six over third man off the bowling of seamer Mohit Sharma with the right-handed batsman clearly intent on taking the attack to the bowlers.
Simmons was initially becalmed with 19 off 20 balls, but he cut loose in the sixth over when he struck a six and a four off the bowling of left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja.
The powerful Simmons brought up his fifty off 35 balls with five fours and three sixes while he and Rohit completed their 100-run stand off a mere 57 deliveries.
Rohit raced to his half-century, off just 25 deliveries, with the sixth four of his scintillating knock, to go with two sixes.
But Rohit departed off the next ball when he dragged a delivery from seamer Dwayne Bravo to Jadeja at long-on.
Medium-pacer Smith bowled Simmons in the next over as Mumbai slipped to 120-3 in the 13th over.
Kieron Pollard then went on the change and he smashed three sixes and a four off the 17th over, bowled by left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra.
Chennai made a sluggish start to their run chase after the early loss of Mike Hussey (4).
Smith seemed content to play the anchor role and he reached his half-century off 45 balls with eight fours and a six but just as he was looking to accelerate he was trapped leg-before by Harbhajan.
Suresh Raina (28) and Smith had added 66 runs for the second wicket but Smith’s dismissal left Chennai on 88-2, still needing 115 runs to win off just 49 balls.
But their task became that much harder when Raina was stumped off the bowling of Harbhajan as Chennai slipped to 99-3.
Bravo (9) failed to make much on an impression with the bat before paceman Lasith Malinga extinguished Chennai’s last hope when he bowled Mahendra Singh Dhoni (18).
Mumbai Indians: LMP Simmons, PA Patel (wicketkeeper), RG Sharma (captain), KA Pollard, HH Pandya, AT Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, J Suchith, MJ McClenaghan, R Vinay Kumar, SL Malinga
Chennai Super Kings: DR Smith, MEK Hussey, F du Plessis, SK Raina, MS Dhoni (captain & wicketkeeper), P Negi, DJ Bravo, RA Jadeja, R Ashwin, A Nehra, MM Sharma