Hashim Amla’s maiden T20 century in vain as Jos Buttler’s 37-ball 70 powers MI to an emphatic win

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Jos Buttler

On a night when 24 sixes were recorded, Mumbai Indians registered their fourth consecutive win while hosts Kings XI Punjab slipped to their fourth straight loss of VIVO IPL 2017. Hashim Amla’s maiden unbeaten T20 century (104 from 60 balls) and captain Glenn Maxwell’s 18-ball 40 had powered KXIP to a daunting 198/5 but Mumbai Indians had no trouble in overcoming the challenging score as they reached home with 27 balls to spare.

Openers Parthiv Patel(37 from 18) and Jos Buttler (77 from 37) provided a blazing start as MI raced to 82/1 in just six overs. Parthiv’s wicket could not slow things down as MI continued to cruise in company of Buttler and Nitish Rana. Both were ominous form, dispatching every bowler out of the park. Buttler was outstanding and he needed just 26 balls to raise his fifty. Batting at No.3 has suited Rana and the left-hander struck his fourth fifty in four matches that he has batted at one-drop position. Rana brought his half-century in 29 balls and remarkably did not hit a single four in his unbeaten knock of 62 that had seven sixes. Hardik Pandya joined the party after the fall of Buttler’s wicket and continuing the theme at the Holkar Cricket Stadium, he smashed 15 from four balls as Mumbai Indians registered their highest successful chase in the IPL.

Earlier, Kings XI Punjab made four changes to the playing XI with the most noticeable being the forced changed as opener Manan Vohra was unwell and was forced to sit out. Shaun Marsh and Marcus Stoinis were included in place of David Miller and Eoin Morgan, who struggled against spin in KXIP’s last game against SRH.

Playing his first game of IPL 10, Marsh opened with Hashim Amla and the two added 46 runs for the first wicket before Marsh got out on the last ball of the Powerplay. Wriddhiman Saha was sent at No. 3 but he got out for 11 when he stepped out to hit Krunal Pandya but missed the line.

Captain Maxwell’s arrival at the crease changed momentum in KXIP’s favour as launched a stunning counterattack. He smashed McClenaghan for three captivating sixes and two fours in one over. On course to get a rapid fifty, it was Bumrah’s slower ball that proved to be his undoing.

Playing second fiddle in the highly entertaining 83-run stand off just 33 balls, Amla took over the mantle after Maxwell’s departure. It was Lasith Malinga who had another forgettable outing as he struggled to tame a rampaging Amla. After hitting two fours in Malinga’s second over, in which Amla also brought up his half-century, the South African struck two sixes and two boundaries in Malinga’s third over. When Malinga prepared himself to bowl the final over, Amla needed 10 runs to get to his century. The Sri Lankan started with the wide and Amla then hit him for two consecutive sixes to bring up his maiden T20 century off 58 balls with the help of eight boundaries and two sixes.Malinga bowled 16 balls to Amla and conceded 51 runs at a strike-rate of 318.75. Malinga’s spell of 4-0-58-0 was his most expensive T20 spell ever.

Brilliant with his timing without being reckless, Amla’s knock was a fine display of controlled aggression and timely aggression.

Brief Scores: Kings XI Punjab 198/4 (Hashim Amla 104*, Glenn Maxwell 40, Krunal Pandya 1/29) lost to Mumbai Indians 199/2 (Jos Buttler 77, Rana 62*) by 8 wickets.

Man of the Match: Jos Buttler