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Mumbai Indians rode on destructive half centuries from Englishman Jos Buttler and young Nitish Rana to thrash Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by eight wickets in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 encounter at the Holkar Cricket Stadium here on Thursday. Buttler's 37-ball 77, laced with seven fours and five huge sixes and Rana's unbeaten 31-ball 54, comprising seven mammoth punches over the rope, outshone South African star Hashim Amla's maiden T20 century for Kings XI, as the visitors overhauled the massive target of 199, with more than four overs to spare. Chasing a mammoth 199, the opening duo of Parthiv Patel (37) and Buttler dealt mostly in boundaries to raise Mumbai's highest first wicket stand of all IPL seasons of 81 runs, as the Punjab bowlers had little to counter the left-right pair. Buttler started the onslaught from the very first over dispatching medium pacer Sandeep Sharma for a six before lofting him for another in his next over as Mumbai raced to 50 in just four overs.
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Amla meted out special treatment to Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga, dispatching him for two consecutive sixes twice in two overs to help himself reach the three-figure mark and the team to a mammoth score.