Abu Dhabi, April 18 :
Glenn Maxwell’s whirlwind 95 off 43 balls gave Kings XI Punjab a comprehensive four-wicket win against Chennai Super Kings in a mammoth run chase in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium here Friday.
Maxwell’s brutal knock was studded with 15 fours and two sixes and David Miller made an unbeaten 54 off 37 balls as Kings XI easily achieved the target of 206 losing four wickets and with seven wickets in hand.
Maxwell’s innings made a mockery of the run chase, especially after it looked that Chennai Super King had a winning total of 205/4 in 20 overs. Dawayne Smith made 66 and Brendan McCullum struck 67.
While chasing, Kings XI Punjab were in all sorts of trouble as they lost the first three wickets for 52 runs inside six overs. Super Kings off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (2-41) removed Cheteshwar Pujara (13) and Akshar Patel (2) while veteran pacer Ashish Nehra got rid of his city mate Virender Shewag (19).
Maxwell and Miller then joined forces with their 115-run stand for the fourth wicket that blew away the former champions.
Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni used six bowlers, but none proved effective. Nehra’s figures of 1-24 from three overs, however, looked respectable of the lot.
Maxwell came down heavily on all the Super Kings bowlers smashing 15 fours and two sixers. The Australian was finally removed by Dwayne Smith with a yorker that cramped Maxwell for space and crashed on to his stumps.
Miller was also in his elements and struck three fours and three sixes. The South African along with Kings XI skipper George Bailey, unbeaten 17 off 10, took the team home safely with their 39-run unfinished stand.
Earlier in the day, Super Kings new recruits Smith and McCullum launched the innings in style with their massive 123-run stand for the first wicket. They even took Mitchell Johnson to the cleaners, scoring 14 runs off the Australian’s very first over. The pair then plundered 18 off Parwinder Awana’s second over, and took the score past 50 in the fifth over itself.
McCullum brought up his half-century in just 30 balls and Super Kings raced to 100 in the 10th over, thanks to the constant onslaught by both batsmen. Kings XI were able to get a breakthrough in the 12th over thanks to left-arm spinner Patel, who removed McCullum.
Smith then found another able ally in Suresh Raina, who was playing his 100th IPL match. The pair added 38 runs at a fair clip, before Smith (66) got out in the 17th over with the scorecard reading 161 for two.
Raina (24) then added 24 runs with Dhoni, before returning to the dugout. Dhoni along with Dwayne Bravo (8 not out), however, ensured the score went past the 200-run mark with a late onslaught. Dhoni (26) perished off the last ball of the 20th over with the scoreboard reading 205 for four.