Mumbai thrash KXIP despite Amla ton
A superb century from South African batsman Hashim Amla proved vain, as the Kings XI Punjab slipped to an eight-wicket defeat at the hands of the Mumbai Indians, in Thursday's key Indian Premier League fixture at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore.
Full Scorecard: Punjab v Mumbai
Bouncing back from Monday's first-ball duck suffered against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, Amla welcomed a commanding 104 not out from 60 deliveries - eight fours and six sixes included - in a hefty final total of 198 for four.
He became only the fourth South African to score an Indian Premier League ton, after the big-hitting David Miller, Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers. Thursday's feat pushed the talented right-hander to third position in this season's run-scoring ranks.
The innings also marked Amla's highest in the shortest format of the professional game, surpassing the unbeaten 97 struck against Australia at Newlands in March 2016.
The Proteas star was well supported by Australian Glenn Maxwell, whose swashbuckling 40 spanned a mere 18 deliveries. The pair shared a brisk 83-run alliance inside six overs.
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The hosts amassed 50 runs across overs 15 and 16, when Amla and Maxwell were in full flow. New Zealand seamer Mitchell McClenaghan conceded this season's second most expensive over, travelling for 28, while fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah delivered a superb slower ball to eventually end Maxwell's onslaught.
The individual and collective efforts of the South African and Australian, however, were not enough to gather victory. Instead, Englishman Jos Buttler and the homegrown Nitish Rana ensured two-time champions Mumbai relished the final say.
Buttler's cavalier 77 from 37 was lined with five sixes, the majority of which sailed flat and hard over long-off. His timing and wrist work, complemented by inventive shot selection and brute force, thrilled the near jampacked Indore crowd. Cover fielder David Miller, indeed, was left to rue dropping Buttler on 22.
The lines and lengths coughed up by the Kings XI Punjab bowlers, particularly seamers Ishant Sharma, Marcus Stoinis and Sandeep Sharma, simply weren't good enough. They needed to learn from the lessons dealt by Bumrah earlier, but didn't.
Rana, en route to 62 not out from 34, was marvellous - and was ultimately at hand to seal triumph with all of 27 deliveries to spare. The substantial margin of the successful pursuit proved a big boost for Mumbai's overall net run-rate - and push them to the top of the eight-team standings.
Friday will bring an intriguing clash between the Kolkata Knight Riders and Gujarat Lions.
KINGS XI PUNJAB: HM Amla, SE Marsh, GJ Maxwell (capt), MP Stoinis, WP Saha (wk), AR Patel, Gurkeerat Singh, Swapnil Singh, MM Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, I Sharma
MUMBAI INDIANS: PA Patel (wk), JC Buttler, N Rana, RG Sharma (capt), KA Pollard, HH Pandya, KH Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, MJ McClenaghan, SL Malinga, JJ Bumrah