Hashim Amla’s maiden century in the Indian Premier League went in vain as Mumbai Indians continued their brilliant run in the competition with a commanding eight-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab here on Thursday. (KXIP vs MI: T20 MATCH BLOG)
Amla produced a brilliant performance to stay unbeaten on 104 off 60 balls, but explosive fifties by Jos Buttler and Nitish Rana were enough for the visitors to complete a record fifth consecutive run-chase in this year’s IPL. (KXIP vs MI: T20 MATCH SCORECARD)
Chasing a target of 199, Mumbai Indians had a near-perfect start to their run chase as Buttler and Parthiv Patel made merry against the Kings XI Punjab bowlers. The pair brought up their 50-run partnership in just 23 balls and both of them looked extremely comfortable against the pacers.
The misery deepened for the hosts as the duo continued to play their shots freely and Mumbai Indians were 68/0 at the end of the fifth over. However, the breakthrough finally came for Kings XI Punjab when Parthiv miscued his shot and was caught by Glenn Maxwell at mid-on for 37. But that did not stop the visitors from posting their best ever total in powerplay.
The wicket of Parthiv did little to hinder Mumbai Indians’ momentum. The new batsman- Rana - started attacking the bowlers along with Buttler and the 100 came up in just 7.5 overs. Rana, who has been the most successful batsman for Mumbai Indians this year, scored a huge six off Marcus Stoinis and then slammed Axar Patel for another maximum in the next over. Buttler was also not far behind as he kept the scorecard ticking and reached his maiden IPL fifty in just 24 balls.
It looked almost too easy for the duo as Rana and Buttler kept hitting the bowlers for sixes and the target of 199 looked like child’s play. Rana took a special liking to the spinners as he scored two sixes off Axar and then went on to slam Swapnil Singh for two more over long-on.
Although Buttler was finally dismissed for 77, the match was already over for the hosts. Rana and Hardik Pandya finished the match for the visitors with Rana scoring his third fifty of this year as he reached in the milestone in 29 balls with seven huge sixes to his name.
Earlier, batting first, Hashim Amla scored a brilliant century to guide Kings XI Punjab to a competitive 198/4. The Proteas opener looked in sublime form as he slammed eight fours and six sixes en route to his maiden IPL hundred. It was a special innings for the 34-year old who kept the scorecard ticking even when his team lost two wickets in quick succession and his innings was certainly one of the best displays of technique this season.
He was involved in a 46-run opening stand with Shaun Marsh and then added 83 runs off just 33 balls with skipper Glenn Maxwell. Maxwell provided great support for Amla as he scored 40 off just 17 balls and his explosive batting did not allow any Mumbai Indians bowler to find his rhythm.
This was the fourth consecutive loss for Kings XI Punjab and they have just four points from six matches while Mumbai Indians moved to the top of the points table with five victories.