Two-time champions Mumbai Indians put the Kings XI Punjab to bat at a packed-to-capacity Holkar Stadium in Indore in the 22nd game of IPL 2017. A century from Hashim Amla, followed by a splendid 40 off 18 from Glenn Maxwell, took the hosts to a threatening target of 198 on the board.
However, Mumbai Indians, on the back of exceptional performances by Jos Buttler (77 off 37) and Nitish Rana (62 off 34), put up an incredible second innings to chase the uphill task comfortably and negate the heroics of Amla and Maxwell. Towards the end, Hardik Pandya too chipped in with 15 runs and Mumbai Indians thumped to an 8-wicket victory.
Here are 5 memorable moments from the match that don't fade away, quite like the Axe Signature range of body perfumes.
#1 Holkar reverberates to ‘Sachin, Sachin’ even in Tendulkar’s absence
Just when the match between an upbeat Mumbai and struggling Punjab began, one wondered if the venue was Indore’s Holkar Stadium or Mumbai’s iconic fortress Wankhede. That was because of the repeated chants of ‘Sachin, Sachin’ that reverberated at a neutral venue which made its Test debut in November last year.
Even as Hardik Pandya began Mumbai’s bowling attack against Shaun Marsh and Hashim Amla, the crowd seemed oblivious of the proceedings and kept chanting Tendulkar’s name. That’s the added advantage Mumbai Indians carry with them wherever they go, even if Sachin is not travelling with the team!
Fans are eagerly waiting for the release of the Master Blaster’s biopic titled ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’, which will hit the theatres on May 26.
#2 Hashim Amla proves his T20 potential
Shaun Marsh, playing his first game of the season, looked in good touch. But after hitting 5 fours and scoring 26 off 21, McClenaghan’s full-length delivery bamboozled him.
But his opening partner, Hashim Amla, went on to score his maiden T20 century, and the second ton of this IPL. He got to his landmark moment with a six, and proved that he is not just a Test specialist, but can play in all formats.
His celebration was another moment that will not fade away. He hugged Axar Patel in joy and off came the helmet after earning runs against a formidable bowling attack. He hit 6 maximums and 8 fours to ensure that Punjab posted an imposing total. Form is temporary, but class is permanent, proved the South African.
#3 Glenn Maxwell fires on all cylinders in his cameo
It is always the cameo in T20 cricket which changes the course of the game completely. After wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha fell for 11 runs, it was Maxwell, who in the company of Amla, kept robbing the bowlers of runs. He did what he does the best, making a splendid cameo of 40 off just 18 balls.
He clobbered Mitchell McClenaghan for 28 runs in an over with 3 sixes and 2 fours before Bumrah broke the Amla-Maxwell partnership. Maxwell's big hitting and ruthless batting will surely live long in the memory of the fans gathered at the stadium.
#4 Jos Buttler’s power
Who would have thought that Mumbai Indians would chase down the target of 198 with only 2 wickets down? An 85-run partnership between Nitish Rana and Jos Buttler helped Mumbai chase down a nearly 200-run target with 4.3 overs to go.
It was an extraordinary display of power by Buttler who scored 77 of only 37 balls, smashing 7 fours and 5 sixes. He has the power, the game, and he finally proved it with his maiden IPL 50.
Buttler’s audacity and brute force and the ability to find uncanny gaps set Mumbai on their way and the result was more or less sealed when he departed in the 14th over.
#5 Nitish Rana’s promise
23-year-old Nitish Rana has been Mumbai's most confident batsman so far and he showed that once again. He played fearlessly, smashing all sorts of shots all over the park.
The Delhi boy, who rose to fame in the game against Kolkata Knight Riders, when he took the team to a thrilling win with 29-ball 50, repeated his heroics once again by scoring his third half century of this edition.
His intent was clear from the off and he showed that by smashing 7 sixes without scoring a single 4, becoming the first IPL player to do so. And what made his innings more special was the way he finished the game - in style, with a huge six! To add icing to the cake, the batsman now owns the orange cap as well.