Indore, April 20: South African star Hashim Amla’s maiden unbeaten T20 century helped Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) post a mammoth 198/4 against Mumbai Indians in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 match at the Holkar Cricket Stadium here on Thursday.
Put into bat, the hosts were off to a steady start with Amla (104 not out) and Shaun Marsh (26) putting on 46 runs before Maxwell took just one over from pacer Mitchell McClenaghan, milking 28 runs, to change the complexion of their innings.
McClenaghan’s over, the 15th of the innings, was incidentally the second-most expensive over of this IPL season.
Amla, on the other hand, took full advantage of the life he got on 3, when he was dropped off a difficult chance by Nitish Rana, to first get to a superb half century in just 34 balls.
Marsh, coming back to the playing XI in place of a sick Manan Vohra gave Punjab an ideal start, hitting two consecutive boundaries off Hardik Pandya before failing to get under a full ball to be caught by Keiron Pollard at short midwicket off McClenaghan.
The fall of Marsh brought in the in-form wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha (11), who chipped in to add 34 runs for the second wicket with Amla before missing Krunal Pandya’s straight ball which crashed his leg stump.
At 80/2, Punjab needed their captain Maxwell to step up the gas and the Australian wasted no time to settle down. By then, Amla squeezed a single to cover to bring up a brilliant fifty.
Maxwell started off with two consecutive boundaries off medium pacer Jasprit Bumrah before smoking McClenaghan for two back to back sixes and then two fours to finish off the over.
Such was the brutality of the attack that Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma was forced to bring in his main strike bowler Lasith Malinga the next over but the result remained the same.
This time it was Amla, who took the Sri Lankan slinger to the cleaners twice before fending off for two boundaries as the over yielded 21 runs.
The next two overs fetched just nine runs, with the wickets of Maxwell and new man Marcus Stoinis (1) but Amla stayed on to not only complete a magnificent century but also ensure the home side got to a healthy total.
While the 19th over of the innings from Bumrah yielded only 10 runs, Amla’s eyes lit up when Rohit threw the ball to Malinga for the final over.
The Protea star wasted no time in dispatching the Lankan for two consecutive maximums to reach the three-figure mark as the home side ended two short of 200.
Amla’s 60-ball effort was laced with eight hits to the fence and six over it while Maxwell consumed just 18 balls and struck four boundaries and three sixes.
Brief Scores: Kings XI Punjab 198/4 (Hashim Amla 104 not out, Glenn Maxwell 40, Shaun Marsh 26, Mitchell McClenaghan 2/46) vs Mumbai Indians.