Always calm and composed Hashim Amla did not look too disappointed even after his maiden Twenty20 ton went in vain courtesy of a breathtaking chase from Mumbai Indians. The South Africa star attended the post-match press conference and wore a smile on his face right through the session.
Batting first, Kings XI Punjab rode on Amla’s 60-ball 104* to post an imposing total of 198 for 4 in the allotted 20 overs. The Punjab-based outfit would have surely fancied their chances of getting back to winning ways after posting such a total but when Nitish Rana’s six landed on the second tier of the stadium at long on, everyone present on the ground was left shell-shocked. Mumbai chased down the huge total in only 15.3 overs and by losing just a couple of wickets.
The writing was very much on the wall when Parthiv Patel and Jos Buttler added 81 runs off just 35 balls for the first wicket. Parthiv’s dismissal on the penultimate delivery might have given Glenn Maxwell’s men some respite but the joy was short-lived as Buttler continued to bat in the same fashion and was ably supported by Nitish Rana, who dispatched almost everything that came his way. Buttler was finally dismissed after scoring 77 off just 37 balls with the help of 7 fours and 5 sixes while Rana remained unbeaten on 62 off 34 with the help of seven sixes.
The defeat was Punjab’s fourth in a row and they are now looking in danger of performing poorly in another season. After finishing runners-up in the 2014 season, they finished as the bottom-placed team in the last two editions and will have to improve their game as soon as possible to avoid another wooden spoon.
Speaking after the match, Amla said conceding too many runs in the powerplay cost his team the match and at the same time, he also admitted that the opposition batted very well.
“Mumbai played exceptionally well. See the way they batted, they came out all guns blazing and managed to score a lot of runs in the powerplay. That was really a crucial factor in them getting through comfortably,” Amla said.
“Mumbai played exceptionally well and as a bowling side, you just got to say well played. Nothing much you can do at certain times.We have to reassess as a batting unit and a bowling unit and try and see where we can get better,” he added.
He sounded glad to get some runs under the belt before expressing his disappointment over the loss.
“I am really glad to get some runs, there is no doubt about it. It was a good wicket to bat on, it was a smallish field. So I am really glad to get some runs on the board. It’s never nice to lose consecutive matches like we have. Hopefully, we go to the next venue and manage to get a victory, the 34-year old said.
The right-handed batsman also had a word of praise for the Indore crowd and the field.
“The crowd factor has been very very good. Packed house every game.It’s been a very lovely atmosphere to play in and the wicket is good and it’s a quick outfield, pretty much conducive to batting. In the first two games, the scores were not that big because the wicket kind of gave the bowlers a little bit more assistance but today it was a batters’ day,” he said.
When asked about what his team would do after suffering another loss, he said:“We will get together after this press conference and the team will talk on what strategy we gonna try and go.There are seven matches (8), we have to win basically every one of them, at least 5. I am not sure about the equation but we have to play as much attacking as we can and hopefully get some victories under the belt as quickly as we can before we fall too far behind.”
He further said that his team still has a chance to make it to the playoffs.
“Of course there is a chance. Every team is in with a chance to get into the playoffs. If we get on a roll, consecutive victories and momentum, you never know what can happen,” he concluded.