Mumbai beat Punjab by 8 wickets. (Photo: BCCI)
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Despite Hashim Amla’s Ton, Mumbai Beat Punjab by 8 Wickets

Jos Buttler went on a rampage with a breathtaking 37-ball-77 as Mumbai Indians marched home by eight wickets against Kings XI Punjab to take the sole lead in the Indian Premier League standings.

Put into bat first, Punjab’s Hashim Amla carried his bat through the innings after scoring his career’s first century. 103 off his bat and the home team posted 198 in 20 overs but Jos Buttler made a mockery of the target with Mumbai Indians knocking off the runs in only 15.3 overs.

(Also read: In Pics: Amla Smashes Ton, Mumbai Bowlers Congratulate Tormentor)

If Amla was sublime, Buttler's power-packed shots were scary as he hit seven fours and five sixes, completely overshadowing the effort from the illustrious South African.

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Mumbai’s number 3 Nitish Rana (62 no off 34 balls) was equally effective as he too sent the Kings XI bowlers on a leather hunt hitting as many as seven sixes. The Buttler-Rana stand posted 85 runs for Mumbai in less than 8 overs. Rana got the 'Purple Cap' back and finished the match with a six off Mohit Sharma.

Mumbai now have 10 points from six games having won five matches in a row while KXIP slumped to their fourth defeat.

(Photo: Liju Joseph/The Quint)
(Photo: Liju Joseph/The Quint)

Chasing a near 200-target needed a mandatory good start and Jos Buttler was finally up for it as he punished the two 'Sharmas' -- Ishant and Sandeep with equal disdain. Parthiv Patel also matched him stroke for stroke as they all but finished the contest in the Powerplay overs itself, adding 81 runs. Parthiv's contribution was 37 off 18 balls, hitting four boundaries and two sixes.

If Sandeepm with his military medium pace, was getting tonked by Buttler for bowling fuller deliveries, Parthiv was seen using Ishant's bounce whipping him for a six behind square. Buttler was seen muscling Sandeep over extra cover as Glenn Maxwell had no answer to this onslaught. Finally, Marcus Stoinis bowled a slower one to Parthiv who mistimed it to Maxwell standing at the circle at mid-off.

Earlier Amla's classy hundred powered Kings XI Punjab to a competitive 198/4 after being put into bat first.

Playing shots that would delight the purists, Amla spanked all the Mumbai Indians bowlers en route his unbeaten 104 off 60 balls, which included as many as six sixes apart from eight boundaries.

In fact five of the half dozen sixes were hit off Sri Lankan slinger Lasith Malinga (0/58 in 4 overs). There were straight hits, short arm jabs over long-on, slashes over point, hook, and a majestic pull-shot in 'Nataraja style', which brought up his first hundred in shortest format as well second of this edition.

Skipper Glenn Maxwell, on his part played a typically breezy innings smashing 40 off 18 balls with the help of four boundaries and three sixes.

(Photo: Liju Joseph/The Quint)
(Photo: Liju Joseph/The Quint)

It was the 3rd wicket partnership between Amla and Maxwell that produced 83 runs in only 5.3 overs to send the Mumbai attack in complete disarray. The last six overs produced an astounding 87 runs after KXIP were 111 for 2 at the end of the 14th over.

It was the 15th over of the innings were Maxwell decided to tee off taking 28 runs off the Mitchell McClenaghan over. The KXIP skipper hit the hapless New Zealand international for three sixes and two fours as he got the required momentum.

The very next over from Malinga saw Amla pounce on him taking 22 off that over and suddenly 50 runs came off two overs. While Jasprit Bumrah cleaned up Maxwell but Amla was well set by then as he showed one and all that a century in shortest format could be scored playing all the proper cricketing shots. There were drives on the up, cut shots and also lofted shot in-front of the square as well as behind the square.

The true nature of the pitch also helped Amla, who in fact enjoyed Malinga's back of the length deliveries.

(Photo: Liju Joseph/The Quint)
(Photo: Liju Joseph/The Quint)