Buttler and Rana run away with the chase of Kings XI’s formidable total
Hashim Amla’s maiden IPL ton — an unbeaten 104 — went in vain as Mumbai Indians beat Kings XI Punjab by eight wickets in the Indian Premier League here.
Chasing 199, Mumbai openers Jos Buttler and Parthiv Patel knocked off 81 runs off 35 balls to signal that the deal was on.
Buttler was all brawn and brute — in stark contrast to Amla — as if trampling ahead in a fit of temper. By the time he departed, with 77 off 37 balls, he had left his team 33 to get off 41 deliveries.
Buttler was amply supported by the in-form Nitish Rana who hit an unbeaten 62 off 34 balls.
Earlier, with Manan Vohra unwell and out, Kings XI had made four changes from its last match.
He charmed and harmed with his cut shot. The precision of it evokes a picture of a cellist angling his bow.
He mines even the slightest of width offered and the smallest of gaps in the field. Like he did four out of the five times he found the ropes. Then, Maxwell dared to hit at will. In the 15 over, he hit McClenaghan for two fours, and three sixes — one straight up, and one each over long-on and deep square-leg.
He shifted swift and slick at the crease to play all these shots. The way he played them was as if he meant “Hey, what’s the big deal? you see ball, you hit ball.”
That sure would’ve pleased his coach Virender Sehwag, who earlier looked fairly pleased when a video footage of Adam Gilchrist dancing a clumsy ‘Gangnam style’ in his last IPL match played on the big screen.
As if stimulated by a dose of caffeine, Amla soared from Maxwell’s flight. In the next over — the 16th — he amassed 22 runs with two fours and two sixes off Malinga and went on to freewheel till the end.
Maxwell was all in-your-face punchline, Amla was his typical understated elegance. The South Africa batsman was there from start till the end, smashing a ton.