Hashim Amla's classy hundred powered Kings XI Punjab to a competitive 198/4 against Mumbai Indians in an Indian Premier League encounter, here tonight. 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. In fact five of the half dozen sixes were hit off Sri Lankan slinger Lasith Malinga (0/58 in 4 overs). There were straight hits, shirt arm jabs over long-on, slashes over point, hook, and a majestic pull-shot in 'Nataraja style', which brought up his first hundred in shortest format as well second of this edition. 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. It was the 3rd wicket partnership between Amla and Maxwell that produced 83 runs in only 5.3 overs to send the Mumbai attack in complete disarray. The last six overs produced an astounding 87 runs after KXIP were 111 for 2 at the end of the 14th over. It was the 15th over of the innings were Maxwell decided to tee off taking 28 runs off the Mitchell McLenaghan over. The KXIP skipper hit the hapless New Zealand international for three sixes and two fours as he got the required momentum. The very next over from Malinga saw Amla punce on him taking 22 off that over and suddenly 50 runs came off two overs. While Jasprit Bumrah cleaned up Maxwell but Amla was well set by then as he showed one and all that a century in shortest format could be scored playing all the proper cricketing shots.
There were drives on the up, cut shots and also lofted shot in-front of the square as well as behind the square. The true nature of the pitch also helped Amla, who infact enjoyed Malinga's back of the length deliveries. It was baffling as senior pro Harbhajan Singh, who gave away only 12 runs in 2 overs, didn't get to finish his quota of overs.
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