Sports

KXIP v MI, IPL 2017: Hashim Amla's ton in vain as Jos Buttler, Nitish Rana's fireworks guide Mumbai Indians home

Mumbai Indians, on a rampage both home and away, conquered Kings XI Punjab at the latter's home away from home with a spectacular chase to win their fifth consecutive match of the tournament by a comfortable eight wickets.

It wasn't supposed to look so easy for MI until the in-form Nitish Rana - and the team's Man Friday at the moment - joined hands with opener Jos Butler to make the result look extremely onesided.
Rana's 62 off 34 balls played a remarkably special second fiddle to Butler's 37ball 77 as Punjab lost yet another game.
Batting first, Punjab had settled for 1984 - still 20-odd runs less than what MI's bowling coach Shane Bond had predicted on this wicket - riding on a splendid century from a composed Hashim Amla. It was the kind of innings that, every once in a while, can end up unmasking the monstrosity of the very format.

Amla took time freeing up his arms after MI skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and put Punjab in to bat first, deciding to go with the tournament trend of chasing so far. After all, 12 victories this season have come for teams batting second, Thursday's MI chase being the 13th.

Between the 15th and the 20th over of the innings, the Kings almost made Sharma's decision look like a bad one. In the absence of Manan Vohra, who Maxwell said was unwell and had to be benched, the hosts brought in Shaun Marsh and the Aussie opener started off well. However, the mightier flow of runs - that eventually came off Amla's bat, and got seconded by Maxwell's brute strokeplay - took time coming.

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