Amla’s maiden T20 century in vain

Kings XI Punjab cricketer Hashim Amla celebrates after scoring a century (100 runs) during the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians at The Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on April 20, 2017. ------IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / GETTYOUT------ / AFP PHOTO / PUNIT PARANJPE / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / GETTYOUT

South African batsman Hashim Amla cracked his maiden Twenty20 century but his sublime knock for his Indian Premier League side Kings XI Punjab went in vain.

Amla hit a 60-ball 104 not out to help Punjab post 198-4 but Mumbai Indians achieved the target with 27 balls to spare during their eight-wicket win in Indore on Thursday.

England’s Jos Buttler top-scored for Mumbai with a 37-ball 77 as he put together an 85-run second-wicket stand with left-handed batsman Nitish Rana (62 not out).

But it was Amla’s eye-catching innings that remained the highlight of the evening at Indore’s Holkar Stadium that saw 397 runs in 35.3 overs.

Amla, 34, known for his classical style of play, hit 8 fours and 6 sixes to single-handedly destroy the Mumbai bowling attack, with New Zealand paceman Mitchell McClenaghan and Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga bleeding runs.

Amla enjoyed an 83-run stand with skipper Glenn Maxwell, who hit 40 in 18 balls with 4 fours and 3 sixes for the third wicket.

Congratulatory messages flowed as Amla, whose highest score in T20 internationals is 97 not out, registered his first hundred in his 113th T20 game.

“Hashim Aaaaaaaaamla… What a player, what a champion! @amlahash @IPL,” South African one-day international captain AB de Villiers wrote on Twitter.

Proteas Test and T20 skipper Faf du Plessis, who plays for IPL side Rising Pune Supergiant, declared Amla a “legend” while Morne Morkel also sang praises for his teammate.