Mumbai Indians top-order fired in one of the rare occasions as they put up a competitive 178 for three against Rajasthan Royals after a century-plus opening stand, in an IPL encounter in Ahmedabad on Monday.
Comeback man Mike Hussey (56) and Lendl Simmons (62) put on 120 runs for the opening stand, which incidentally was the first three-figure partnership for MI in 30 games.
The last time MI had a century stand was when Sachin Tendulkar and Dwayne Smith conjured 163 runs against the same opposition during the 2012 edition.
Hussey scored his runs in 39 balls with three fours and two sixes while Simons took 51 balls, which included six fours and two sixes.
Skipper Rohit Sharma showed his big-hitting prowess during a 19-ball cameo that fetched him 40 runs with three fours and four sixes. Rohit and a subdued Kieron Pollard (14 no) added 56 for the third wicket in five overs.
Hussey and Simons started cautiously trying to get a measure of the slow Motera track. Hussey, coming back to the team after a disastrous UAE leg, looked confident as he played some fluent drives and cuts peppering the in-field.
Simons also proved to be an able partner as he started slowly but picked up the pace as time progressed. Both ran well between the wickets converting a couple of singles into twos.
MI's opening stand yielded 50 runs in 6.4 overs with Simmons racing to 30.
When Faulkner dropped one short, Hussey was quickly on backfoot to pull it in front of square for a six.
Hussey's second six was a slog sweep off left-arm spinner Ankit Sharma into the mid-wicket stands.
Simons also joined the fun as he lofted an ultra-slow delivery from Rajat Bhatia into the deep mid-wicket stands while lofting Kevon Cooper over long-off for his second six.
Hussey was the first to reach the half-century of 32 balls while Simons took 43 balls to attain the individual landmark.
Their 100-run partnership, MI's first of the season came in the 13th over.
Royals drew the first blood immediately after the second strategic time-out as Ankit got both Simons (62) and Hussey (56) within a space of two deliveries--- both caught in the deep by Cooper.
Ankit ended with impressive figures of two for 23 in four overs.