Hashim Amla scored his maiden T20 century against MI © AFP
Hashim Amla scored his maiden T20 century against MI © AFP

Amidst a packed Holkar Stadium in Indore, Hashim Amla’s maiden T20 century took Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) to a total of 198. Despite a huge score on the board, Mumbai Indians (MI) managed to find winning ways as they defeated KXIP by 8 wickets, thanks to Nitish Rana and Jos Buttler’s blistering fifties. However, MI’s star bowlers inLasithMalinga and Mitchell McClenaghan were taken to cleaners. Malinga was taken for 30 runs in an over, the second highest in IPL 2017 after Ashok Dinda’s 30. Malinga, who is amongst the leading wicket-taker of IPL was smashed for sixes and fours but Amla maintained that the Sri Lankan stalwart is a world class bowler. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Kings XI Punjab vs Mumbai Indians – Match 22

During the post-match press-conference, Amla felt MI were exceptional with the run-chase, “Mumbai played exceptionally well. They came out all guns blazing. They managed to play a lot of runs in the Powerplay. That is a crucial factor for them to ease through comfortably.” He was equally pleased to have contributed runs in some way for KXIP, “I really glad to get some runs. It was a good wicket to bat on. I was glad to get some runs on the board. It is never nice to lose consecutive matches like we have. Hopefully we go to the next venue and get a victory.”

In terms of team balance, Amla felt a lot depends of the conditions and the team management, “Lot depends more on what the team needs. Certain times while you are batting, most of the time you do what the team ask you to do. But when it comes to good track like this, you got to swing from the hip. Hopefully make connection and get value for your shots.”

Indore was packed despite being a Thursday and Amla loved to get his century amidst this packed stadium, “The crowd factor has been very good. It has been a lovely atmosphere to play in. It is a quick outfield with a smallish field. It was pretty much conducive to batting. In the first two games, the score was not that big. But the wicket kind of gave more assistance to the bowlers. But today it was a batters day.”

KXIP were off to flying start in the tournament. However, they could not build on the momentum and lost 4 games on trot, “We will get together after this press conference and have a little team chat. Discuss on what strategy we will go ahead with. We will have to win 7 matches more, atleast 5 if we go by the equation. But nevertheless we have got players attacking as we can. Hopefully we should get some victories under the belt, before we fall far too behind.”

Smashing Malinga for maximum runs, Amla could not stop praising the attacking bowler, “Lasith is an excellent bowler. Somedays you just manage to get some boundaries off him. But he is world class bowler.”