Jos Buttler [77 off 37 balls] was at his brilliant best, guiding the Mumbai Indians to a comfortable eight-wicket victory over the Kings XI Punjab as the Rohit Sharma-led side chased down 199 in 15.3 overs at the Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore on Thursday.
Prior to this match, the England cricketer had got a few starts in the tournament but had failed to kick on and make a decisive contribution. That wasn’t the case against the Kings XI though, as he bludgeoned the ball to all parts of the ground.
Buttler struck seven fours and five sixes during his knock and he was well supported by first, Parthiv Patel [37 off 18 balls] as the duo added 81 for the opening wicket and then, by Nitish Rana [62* off 34 balls] in an 85-run partnership.
Rana looked in supreme touch once again, hitting as many as seven sixes during his innings which included zero fours remarkably. After this knock, the Orange Cap has returned to the 23-year-old.
The Mumbai blitz overshadowed a splendid century from Hashim Amla [104* off 60 balls], earlier in the day.
The South African batsman, who has had question marks raised over his T20 batting, showed that he is a valuable asset in the shortest format of the game by registering his maiden T20 hundred.
Amla hit eight fours and six sixes during his knock and took a particular liking to Lasith Malinga. The Kings XI opening batsman took the Sri Lankan pacer to the cleaners, scoring 51 runs from 16 deliveries off his bowling.
It was the partnership between captain Glenn Maxwell [40 off 18 balls] and Amla that really helped Punjab get into fifth gear. The duo added 83 runs from just 33 deliveries, with Maxwell’s big-hitting resulting in Mitchell McClenaghan conceding 28 runs in a single over.
McClenaghan, though, was the most successful of the Mumbai bowlers – picking up two wickets.
Krunal Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah were the most impressive bowlers for the visitors as they conceded just 29 and 30 runs from their four overs respectively. They accounted for a wicket apiece as well.
On the other hand, Malinga bowled the most expensive spell of his T20 career, ending with bowling figures of 0-58 [something Ishant Sharma would match, later on in the game] from his four overs.
The Kings XI ended their innings on 198-4, but it was far from enough on a flat pitch against a Mumbai Indians team that seem to be in magnificent form.
With this win, Mumbai move back to the top of the table with 10 points from five matches. This was, in fact, their fifth successive victory after starting the season with a loss against Rising Pune Supergiant.
Punjab, meanwhile, have now suffered four consecutive defeats after starting their campaign with two victories. They have four points and are currently placed fifth.
Kings XI Punjab 198-4, 20 overs [Amla 104*, Maxwell 40, McClenaghan 2-46] lost to Mumbai Indians 199-2, 15.3 overs [Buttler 77, Rana 62*, Stoinis 1-28] by eight wickets.
Player of the Match – Jos Buttler