Jos Buttler went on a rampage with a breathtaking 37-ball 77 as Mumbai Indians cantered home by eight wickets against Kings XI Punjab maintaining their pole position in the Indian Premier League, here on Thursday night.
Hashim Amla’s superb 103 enabled Punjab put up a competitive 198 for 4 in 20 overs but Buttler made a mockery of the target with Mumbai Indians knocking off the runs in only 15.3 overs.
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.
The talented Nitish Rana (62 not out off 34 balls) was equally exhilarating as he also sent the Kings XI bowlers on a leather hunt hitting as many as seven sixes. Buttler-Rana stand got Mumbai 85 runs in less than 8 overs.
Mumbai now have 10 points from six games having won five matches in a row while KXIP slumped to their fourth defeat.
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.
The pint-sized Parthiv Patel also matched him stroke for stroke as they basically 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.
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.
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.