Punjab Beat Chennai Twice in One Season
It was yet another brilliant innings by Glenn Maxwell (90 off 38 balls) that helped Kings XI Punjab to a massive 44-run win against the Chennai Super Kings in Cuttack. Thanks to the current Orange Cap holder’s willful big-hitting, KXIP posted a mountainous total of 231 for four in their 20 overs. In reply, CSK could only manage 187 for six. As a result, KXIP have won both their league games against CSK this season – and Maxwell was the undisputed star in both wins.
Earlier, CSK won the toss and asked KXIP to bat first. The Mohali franchise tried out a new opening combination today – Virender Sehwag and Mandeep Singh. This change seemed to have paid off in the initial stages as Sehwag went about punishing the opposition bowlers for any loose deliveries. The veteran batsman scored most of the runs in the brisk – but brief – opening stand. However, Mohit Sharma struck in the fifth over to get rid of Mandeep Singh (3) to leave KXIP on 33 for one. Even Sehwag (30) departed soon after; he struck five fours and a maximum, before Ben Hilfenhaus cleaned him up in the sixth over.
KXIP’s two Ms – Glenn Maxwell and David Miller – then came together, and steadied the innings at first. They took the team’s score to 69 for two at the halfway mark. However, they soon unleashed, and within the next couple of overs, took KXIP to the three-figure mark, courtesy a flurry of fours and big hits. And then, in the 12th over, which was bowled by R Ashwin, 21 runs were plundered – thanks largely to Maxwell, who also brought up his half-century in the same over. And the next over from Ishwar Pandey was no different – it cost CSK 18 runs.
Thanks to the incessant big-hitting, the KXIP 150 came up in the 15th over itself. And just when it seemed like the two Ms would continue inflicting sixes on the bowlers, CSK got a breakthrough from the unlikeliest of sources – Dwayne Smith; after conceding 20 runs off his first five balls, the West Indian cleaned up Miller (47) in the 16th over. The third-wicket stand produced a whopping 135 runs (64 balls). And while Maxwell (90) continued to belt the bowlers around the park, he missed out on yet another well-deserved century – this time by 10 runs. Ravindra Jadeja caught him near the midwicket fence off the bowling of Mohit Sharma. But before he departed, Maxwell slammed six fours and eight memorable maximums.
However, George Bailey, in the company of Mitchell Johnson, then picked up where Maxwell had left. The KXIP skipper struck regular boundaries to take KXIP past 200. In fact, Bailey struck two back-to-back sixes to take his team to a mammoth 231 for four at the end of regulation.
Later, CSK’s response was marred by an early wicket – that of Smith (4). Sandeep Sharma dismissed him in the first over itself. However, Brendon McCullum and Suresh Raina steadied the ship by crafting a 51-run stand, which was dominated by the latter. However, Maxwell’s magic arm saw the back of Raina (35) before he could sway the momentum in his team’s favour. Ravindra Jadeja (17) was the next man out; he was bowled out by Rishi Dhawan in the 11th over. And shortly thereafter, even McCullum (33) perished; Johnson ran him out, leaving CSK on 98 for four.
When Faf du Plessis and MS Dhoni came together, CSK were still 134 runs adrift of the target, and they only had 48 balls in remaining in their innings. And while du Plessis (52) scored a fighting half-century, the target was well out of sight before he could do anything about it; he was dismissed by Johnson in the 19th over. Even Dhoni (23) departed in the same over. Eventually, CSK could only manage 187 for six in their 20-over quota. KXIP’s 44-run triumph propelled them back to the top of the league table, while CSK dropped down to the second spot.