Hashim Amla’s maiden hundred in Twenty20 (T20) cricket on Thursday went in vain as Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) lost to Mumbai Indians (MI) by 8 wickets in Indian Premier League (IPL) 201, match 22 at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore. At the halfway stage, KXIP would have thought they were the firm favourites to defend 198; for MI had never chased a total over 195. However, the Kings ran into a red-hot MI, who gunned down the total in the 16th over. Jos Buttler (77 off 37), Nitish Rana (62* off 34), Parthiv Patel (37 off 17) and Hardik Pandya (15* off 4) finished off the game in style. Before the Kings could realise what hit them, MI went away pocketing the game. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Kings XI Punjab vs Mumbai Indians – Match 22
To chase a target they had never chased, MI needed an effort they had never put in before. Buttler and Parthiv gave just the kind of start MI would have hoped for: getting to 82 runs in the powerplay overs. Both Buttler and Parthiv went after the KXIP bowling from the word go, taking all the bowlers to the cleaners.
Parthiv, who was looking ominous in the middle, fell just before the powerplay ended. He scored 37 off 18, which had 4 fours and 2 sixes. He was replaced by Rana, who started from where he had left in the previous games. Buttler also continued to operate in the top gear from the other end. Such was MI’s domination that out of 16 overs, only 3 overs did not produce at least one boundary.
Mumbai raced to 123 for 1 in 10 overs — there highest score at the end of 10 overs in IPL. In the process, Buttler brought up his fifty. But he was in no mood to stop, as runs continued to flow from his willow. He eventually fell for 76 — his highest T20 score — but Pandya and Rana finished off the game in style. Never did the tempo of MI innings come down even slightly. Rana completed his third fifty in IPL 10 and also earned the Orange Cap, finishing the game with a six.
Earlier, Rohit Sharma won the toss and invited KXIP to bat first. MI fielded an unchanged side, while KXIP were forced to make as many as four changes to their XI. Last game’s hero Manan Vohra was unwell and had to miss out. Eoin Morgan and David Miller made way for Shaun Marsh and Marcus Stoinis, while KC Cariappa also missed out, with Gurkeerat Singh and Swapnil Singh replacing the two Indians.
Amla and Marsh started well, adding 46 runs for the first wicket. Marsh was the aggressor of the two, scoring 26 of those runs. He almost threw away his start, giving a simple catch to Kieron Pollard at mid-wicket off Mitchell McClenaghan’s bowling. Wriddhiman Saha, who replaced Marsh at No. 3, failed to get going and departed for 15-ball 11 as the boundaries dried up.
Amla broke the shackles, hitting Krunal Pandya for a huge six over his head. He brought up his fifty but at this stage of the innings, KXIP needed a Maxwell boost! The skipper came out to bat and did exactly the same, carting the bowlers all around the park. He hit McClenaghan for 28 runs in the 15th over — the second-most expensive over of this season. Maxwell hit 3 sixes and 2 fours in that over, which changed the course of the game.
Amla carried the momentum in the next over, as he smacked 2 sixes and as many fours off Lasith Malinga’s bowling, collecting 22 runs off it. Maxwell fell soon after, with Stoinis joining him back in the hut shortly. But Amla kept going from the other end, collecting and odd boundary off Bumrah’s next over before going all-out in the final over of the innings and bringing up his hundred.
Kings XI Punjab 198 for 4 (Hashim Amla 104*, Glenn Maxwll 40; Mitchell McClenaghan 2 for 46, Krunal Pandya 1 for 29, Jasprit Bumrah 1 for 30) lost to Mumbai Indians 199 for 2 in 15.3 overs (Jos Buttler 77, Nitish Rana 62*, Parthiv Patel 37; Marcus Stoinis 1 for 28, Mohit Sharma 1 for 29) by 8 wickets.
Man of the Match: Jos Buttler