Cuttack: Australia’s explosive batsman Glenn Maxwell powered the Kings XI Punjab to a comprehensive 44-run win over Indian Premier League (IPL) table toppers Chennai Super Kings at the Barabati Stadium here Wednesday.
Chasing the highest total of the tournament of 231/4, the Super Kings could only manage 187/6 in their 20 overs after electing to field. With the victory, the Punjab outfit have once again risen to the top of the table with 12 points from seven games. (Scorecard | Commentary | Points Table)
Maxwell drove his team to a mammoth total with his magnificent 38-ball knock of 90 runs. In the process, the Victorian batsman smashed six boundaries and eight massive sixes all over the stadium. (Match Highlights)
Maxwell came in after opener Mandeep Singh (3) got out cheaply but Virender Sehwag played a nice cameo of 30 runs for his side at the start of the innings. After Sehwag got out, with the score at 38/2 in the sixth over, it was a Maxwell show all the way.
The Australian was given good support by southpaw David Miller (47) and later by compatriot George Bailey, who also hammered an outrageous 13-ball 40 at an incredible strike rate of 307.69.
Maxwell and Miller struck the all-important 135-run third wicket partnership to propel the team to 182 before getting out. The Melbourne born missed out on his century when he hit Mohit Sharma straight to deep mid-wicket where he was caught (182/4).
But skipper Bailey made sure the team went well past the 200-mark to post a supremely challenging title for the previous table toppers.
Maxwell did not leave any Super Kings bowler with decent figures as all of them went for at least nine runs per over with only Sharma scalping two wickets.
In reply, the Chennai outfit had a poor start, losing explosive opener Dwayne Smith (4) in the first over. New Zealander Brendon McCullum (33) tried forging a partnership with Suresh Raina (35) first and later with Ravindra Jadeja (17) before running himself out.
South African Faf du Plessis (52) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni scored a 61-run fifth-wicket partnership but the asking rate kept increasing and even the firepower of Dhoni, who got out for 21, wasn’t enough to take the two-time IPL champions to their target.
Mithun Manhas (8 not out) and Ravichandran Ashwin (11) took the team to 187/6 before running out overs.
Though he did not take any wicket, left arm spinner Akshar Patel was the most economical bowler for the Kings XI, giving away only 28 runs from four overs while Mitchell Johnson clinched two wickets.