Jos Buttler, Nitish Rana Shine as Mumbai Indians Thrash Kings XI Punjab By 8 Wickets

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Nitish Rana and Hardik Pandya celebrate Mumbai Indians’ win.

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.

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 no off 34 balls) was equally exhilarating as he also sent the Kings XI bowlers on a leatherhunt hitting as many as seven sixes. The Buttler-Rana stand got MI 85 runs 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.

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 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. Both the batsmen matched each other stroke for stroke as the 50 came up in the fourth over itself.

If Sandeep 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 as Parthiv mistimed it to Maxwell standing at the circle at mid-off pouched an easy catch.

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.

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