Mumbai keep title defence hopes alive

India

The Mumbai Indians' hopes of a successful title defence remained alive, albeit marginally, on the back of a clinical six-wicket victory over the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Monday's important Indian Premier League fixture at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal.

The Mumbai Indians' hopes of a successful title defence remained alive, albeit marginally, on the back of a clinical six-wicket victory over the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Monday's important Indian Premier League fixture at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal.

Outgunned, outfoxed, outdone and outlasted through the bulk of the competition, the defending champions orchestrated a rare victory, with West Indian Lendl Simmons and the homegrown Ambati Rayudu at the fore of the fight.

Sunrisers captain Shikhar Dhawan's choice to bat first brought a promising total of 157 for three, with Australians recruit David Warner and Aaron Finch securing half-centuries on either side of fast bowler Lasith Malinga's telling two-wicket haul.

Simmons and Rayudu, later, avoided alarm amid the early departure of opener Chidhambaram Gautam. The pair shared a key 130-run alliance inside 15 overs, largely thwarting an opposition attack led by South African pace ace Dale Steyn.

Both players scored 68, with the Indian's strike-rate slightly quicker than that of the West Indian. Rayudu, in due course, was named Man of the Match – after victory had arrived with eight deliveries to spare.

The result pushed the Mumbai franchise to sixth position in the eight-team standings, while the Sunrisers remained fifth. Tuesday's IPL fixtures will see the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals clash in Ranchi before the Bangalore Royal Challengers host the Delhi Daredevils.

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