It has taken time but finally IPL7 has witnessed it's first century of the tournament. The West Indian Lendl Simmons blasted a fantastic 61 ball hundred to help The Mumbai Indians beat Kings XI Punjab by 7 wickets.
If I was a betting man then my money would have not been placed on Simmons to be the first to hit a century in this year's competition. With players such as Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, Virendar Sehwag, David Warner, Aaron Finch and AB De Villiers gracing the tournament I could be forgiven for not choosing him as my number one choice.
Simmons was instrumental in Mumbai's run chase against the Kings XI as they chased down a challenging total of 157 to stay in the hunt for the play-offs.
Punjab would have been happy with the total they had set on a pitch that did offer some assistance to the bowlers. Australians Shaun Marsh (30) and captain George Bailey (39), aided by Manan Vohra (36) were the most effective batsmen for Punjab as they ended their 20 overs on 156-8.
However, from the outset Simmons was in the mood to chase the total down. In the opening over of Mumbai's reply he hit three fours off Sandeep Sharma and never looked back. Simmons, and fellow opener Michael Hussey, added 68 for the first wicket but Hussey could only manage six of those runs as he mainly watched from the non-strikers end as Simmons compiled his fantastic innings.
Despite losing two more wickets the Mumbai Indians were always in control and once Simmons had reached three figures in the penultimate over of the match it was left to fellow West Indian Kieron Pollard to hit a six to win the match with an over to spare.
Simmons' brilliant innings included 14 fours and two sixes, with a strike rate of nearly 164.
Before the match it was Punjab's Australian star Glenn Maxwell who everyone was talking about. Maxwell is currently the second leading run scorer in the competition with 533 runs in his 12 innings. Robin Uthappa currently tops the charts with 572 runs in 13 knocks. Maxwell has also hit four fifties in the tournament with a top score of 95.
The Mumbai Indians now hope to clinch a play-off place as they sit in sixth position at present but still with a chance of finishing fourth. Meanwhile the Kings XI are still sitting pretty at the top of the table despite this defeat.
Both teams are in action straight away as the Mumbai Indians take on the Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab take on the Rajasthan Royals on Friday.
Will we see another century before the tournament ends of will Simmons be the only player to achieve the feat in this year's IPL?
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