The result: Kings XI Punjab 4-198 (Amla 104no, McClenaghan 2-46) lost to Mumbai Indians 2-199 (Buttler 77, Rana 62*) by eight wickets.
The match in a tweet: 397 runs in 35 overs! Hashim Amla’s maiden T20 ton can’t stop rampaging Mumbai Indians top order from claiming outright top spot on IPL table.
Protea fire: Hashim Amla had never before reached triple-figures in his previous 112 attempts in Twenty20 cricket, but all it took was 58 balls of complete and utter annihilation to change that against Mumbai. The Proteas batsman blasted eight fours and six maximums in the carnage, taking a particular liking to Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga, hitting 51 runs from just 16 deliveries from the T20 master. Amazingly, Amla hit just one boundary and one six in his first 27 balls faced, taking his next 31 balls for 70 runs to reach the milestone. Mumbai had two rare chances in the space of two balls early on, with Mitchell McClenaghan unable to run out the South African after a mid-pitch mix up, and a hot chance going down the very next ball by Nitish Rana in the gully.
King of kings returns: With a lack of recent runs in the top order, Kings XI Punjab welcomed back their franchise’s most successful batsman, Aussie Shaun Marsh. With in excess of 700 runs more than the next best in David Miller, Marsh has been a mainstay for Kings XI and brought with him experience and class to the line-up. In his first match of IPL10, he was quick to get going, blasting Hardik Pandya for three boundaries through his favoured point region before taking Harbhajan Singh through the same area. He reached 26 from 21 balls before clipping McClenaghan to Kieron Pollard at midwicket, but through Marsh and Amla, Kings XI got the start they had so desperately searched for in recent matches.
The run fest: Indore’s wicket provided the tournament’s highest run rate so far with the two sides combining for a mammoth 397 runs from just 35.3 overs. Amla’s blitzkrieg for Kings XI was then matched by Jos Buttler (77) and Rana (62no) for the away side, with each of the home side’s six bowlers going for more than 10 runs per over. Only last Tuesday’s match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Gujarat Lions had a higher aggregate of runs scored, with the Kings XI heading to Rajkot to take on a side also coming off a loss despite scoring in excess of 190.
English impact: Buttler hadn't reached 40 in five previous attempts in IPL10 but he turned it around spectacularly against Kings. Buttler only faced 37 balls but that was all he needed to effectively decide the match, striking seven fours and five sixes in his 77. He was out from the first ball of the 14th over, but by then Mumbai were 166 and victory was a stroll away.
The over(s): Questions were asked of Kings XI Punjab captain Glenn Maxwell after falling to spin when his side needed someone to stand up and deliver against Delhi, but his form has been strong and he carried it on with a bombardment against Kiwi McClenaghan. The skipper blasted 28 runs from the 15th over, hitting 6-6-4-4nb-6 to make it five boundaries from five deliveries. He gave Amla the strike for the final delivery with a dot ball closing it out, but the damage was done, Maxwell completing IPL10’s second-most expensive over. But the destruction was exacerbated when Amla hit Malinga all around the park immediately after, 22 runs coming from the next over to post 50 runs from two disastrous Mumbai overs.
The orange cap: Mumbai No.3 Rana continued his perfect run in his preferred spot, with four fifties from four attempts at first-drop for the Indians. His third half-century of IPL10 earned him the Orange Cap for most runs scored, edging ahead of Sunrisers skipper David Warner. The 23-year-old has impressed in his second IPL season, already eclipsing his first season’s tally and averaging 44.8 in 10 innings. In comparison, Kings XI can’t solve their No.3 woes, averaging just 9.8 runs from four different batsman in the position.
The Aussie pack: All three Aussies to feature in the match were on the losing side, with Marsh’s return to the IPL showing good signs for Kings XI. Maxwell was back to his blazing best, with 40 from 18 deliveries giving a much needed respite to Amla at the other end. The night was less favourable to Marcus Stoinis, with his struggle for runs continuing, adding one to the total before holing out to long-on. He fared little better with the ball, leaking 28 runs from 12 balls, though a slower-ball beat Parthiv Patel earning a lone wicket for the dangerous allrounder.
The wash-up: Top-of-the-table Mumbai head back to the Wankhede Stadium to host a surging Delhi Daredevils side spearheaded by Pat Cummins, whilst Maxwell’s Kings XI will be looking to avoid a fifth-straight loss when they head to Rajkot to take on Gujarat in what looms as another high-scoring affair on the batsman-friendly wicket.