Mumbai Indians thrash Southern Express

India

Mumbai Indians captain Kieron Pollard won the toss and elected to bowl first in Sunday's key Champions League Twenty20 qualifying fixture against Southern Express at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur.

The Mumbai Indians righted the wrongs of Saturday's defeat to the Lahore Lions by convincingly beating Southern Express from Sri Lanka by nine wickets – in Sunday's key Champions League Twenty20 qualifying fixture at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur.

Captain Kieron Pollard's decision to bowl first in testing conditions after winning the toss promised plenty from the Indian Premier League graduates. The bowlers, led by the veteran Harbhajan Singh and pace ace Lasith Malinga duly obliged.

All-rounder Farveez Maharoof's quickfire 41 not out was the top score in a weak final total of 161 for six, which was hurt by the relatively early departures of Kusal Perera and captain Jehan Mubarak.

Mumbai openers Lendl Simmons and Michael Hussey were hardly troubled in reply. Simmons struck 76 not out off just 51 balls to Hussey's 60 from 40. The West Indian and Australian shared a brisk 139-run alliance inside 15 overs, which all but sealed a convincing result.

Pollard, fittingly, was ultimately at hand to strike successive sixes – ensuring triumph with all of 22 deliveries to spare. "You've got to cash in on the good days. I really enjoyed my partnership with Simmons. It was a bit frustrating at the start when the ball was nipping around. Once the ball gets a bit wet it skids on a bit more," said Hussey after the match.

Tuesday will see Express face the Lions from Pakistan – and Mumbai clash with the Northern Districts from New Zealand – at the same venue.

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