Kings XI Punjab are off to a perfect start in their maiden Champions League Twenty20 appearance. KXIP have won both their matches, thanks to a batting line-up that boasts of Virender Sehwag, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller and skipper George Bailey. On Saturday, the team once again proved its mettle by defeating Barbados Tridents by four wickets to register their second win in as many matches. In their tournament opener, the Bailey-led side had defeated Hobart Hurricanes by five wickets chasing 145.
Chasing 175 for victory, Punjab were reduced to 131 for six in the 17th over. Needing another 44 off 21 balls, Miller and bowling all-rounder Akshar Patel combined their skills. The duo kept their cool as Patel emerged an unlikely hero as he smashed three fours and a six off Ravi Rampaul in the 19th over to take pressure off his South African partner. The two added an unbeaten 47 off 20 deliveries.
Miller, who scored 46 not out off 34 balls, was adjudged Man of the Match for the eighth time in the Twenty20. He, however, was all praise for Patel for guiding his side to victory. "Akshar made it easy and took a lot pressure off my shoulders. I was lucky up front, getting a few chances, but once I'm in, I back myself to hit the boundaries," said the South African. (Match in Pics)
Statistics from the match:
# Dilshan Yasika Munaweera (50 off 26 balls) posted his third fifty in Twenty20.
# Raymon Anton Reifer's 60 off 42 balls is the highest individual innings for Barbados Tridents in the CLT20.
# Reifer's only other fifty in Twenty20 is unbeaten 65 off 41 balls vs Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel in the Caribbean Premier League at St.Kitts on August 7, 2014
# Reifer's four sixes is a record for a Barbados Tridents' batsman in the CLT20.
# Parvinder Awana (3/46) is the first Punjab bowler to take three wickets in an innings in the CLT20.
# Thisara Perera (2/15) took his tally to four in the present competition. His bowling average of 8.00 is excellent - the best amongst the bowlers who have bowled atlest in two games in the CLT20 2014.
(With inputs from Rajesh Kumar)