Jos Buttler and Nitish Rana's 85-run stand for the second wicket eclipsed Hashim Amla's first-innings ton and helped Mumbai consign Punjab to their fourth-straight loss in the Indian Twenty20 competition at the Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore on Thursday.
Rohit Sharma's decision to put Punjab in to bat first, on a batting-friendly surface, seemed to have backfired as an Amla-led ton, off just 59 balls, and a 18-ball 40 from Glenn Maxwell drove Pujnab to 198. Mumbai required to score at 9.90 runs from the onset, in order to register their fifth win of the tournament, and openers Parthiv Patel and Jos Buttler drove their side to 81 runs in the first six overs. Buttler led the way by clubbing Sandeep Sharma for a massive six, over midwicket, in the first over itself. The duo smashed 14 boundaries in the 5.5 overs they batted together. Mumbai was still 118 runs away from the target when Patel departed.
An inform Rana joined Buttler and hit the fifth ball he faced for a six over long leg. It was the start of a partnership that would steer Mumbai closer to the sizeable target. Buttler, with a scratchy season thus far, had found form as he hammered seven fours and five sixes in his 37-ball 77, while Rana struck seven sixes in his unbeaten 62, making him this season's leading scorer. When Buttler eventually fell in the 14th over, Mumbai required 33 off 41 balls. Hardik Pandya and Rana, with a flurry of boundaries, ensured that they raced to the target with 27 balls remaining.