Hashim Amla’s maiden T20 century wasn’t enough to prevent the Kings XI Punjab from losing to the Mumbai Indians by eight wickets.
Clinical is an understatement, as the Mumbai Indians’ top four pulverised the Kings XI Punjab. Buttler produced one of his best IPL performances to date, as a series of flat sixes took him to 77 off only 37 balls. His opening partner, Parthiv Patel, was equally destructive, smashing 38 off 17, while No 3 Nitish Rana scored his third fifty of the tournament to take the Orange Cap.
Kings XI thought they would have been well in it after they posted 198-4. David Miller was left out of an IPL match for the first time since April 2015, but it didn’t appear to affect the side at all. His counterpart Amla was in unbelievable form. Back-to-back sixes got him to his first-ever T20 century, taking only 58 balls to achieve the feat.
Things could have been different, had he not been dropped on three in the second over, but it was a difficult chance, and it was a flawless display from there. Amla was aided by handy contributions from Kings XI’s highest-ever run-scorer Shaun Marsh (26 from 21) and skipper Glenn Maxwell (40 off 18). Amla took a particular liking to Lasith Malinga, scoring 51 runs off 16 balls by him.
In response, Patel and Buttler decided to go all out from the onset, and it yielded their most successful Powerplay period in their history, amassing 68 runs off the first five overs. Their partnership extended to 81 inside six overs, before Patel tried one big shot too many.
The carnage continued as the classy Nitish Rana provided the perfect foil to Buttler’s power hitting, as the pair added another 85 off just 7.2 overs. Buttler would fall, but Rana pushed on and brought up his fourth fifty in a row, batting at No 3 for Mumbai Indians.
Hardik Pandya put the seal on the victory with 15 off four balls, while Rana finished on 62 off 37. Rana hit seven sixes and zero fours, highlighting the timing of his shots. It contributed to the third-most boundaries hit in a match in the history of the IPL, as the Mumbai Indians won with 4.3 overs to spare, and a return to the top of the standings as a result.