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IPL 2014 – KXIP vs CSK: Maxwell Blitz Takes Punjab Home

By on April 18, 2014

Kings XI Punjab 206 for 4 (Maxwell 95, Miller 54*) beat Chennai Super Kings 205 for 4 (McCullum 67, Smith 66) by six wickets…

Kings XI Punjab rode on a 43-ball 95 by the Aussie to overhaul Chennai’s stiff 204-run score on Friday.

Glenn Maxwell justified his heavy price-tag by knocking the stuffing out of IPL heavyweights Chennai Super Kings, as new-look Kings XI Punjab made a winning start to this year’s competition.

IPL 2014 - KXIP vs CSK: Glenn MaxwellSo far as early games in protracted leagues go, this one was surprisingly absorbing and not everything had to do with the Aussie’s merciless 43-ball 95, which made light work of the massive 205-run target Chennai had set his team.

Chasing a monstrosity against a side famous for its spin trickery, Punjab’s chances seemed to reside exclusively in the hands of Virender Sehwag and Maxwell, who they had purchased for six times his base price of Rs.1 crore.

But a bespectacled Sehwag was bowled for 19 after a flurry of carefree strokes. And although Punjab also lost Cheteshwar Pujara (13) and Akshar Patel (2) within the Powerplay, they had scored a healthy 64 in the interim, thanks to the million dollar man.

Chennai dropped Maxwell twice: when he had scored 37 and 77, the guilty parties being Ashish Nehra and substitute Samuel Badree respectively, and Punjab needed no more favours.

The centerpiece of their chase was a 115-run partnership between Maxwell and David Miller (54, 37b) that came at almost 11 runs-per over. The alliance killed Chennai in the middle and included a terrorizing 13th over by rookie left-arm spinner Pawan Negi that was taken for 22 runs.

Innovative Start

Maxwell was innovative at the start, making room to hit the spinners over the off-side and scooping back over his head when provided the right length, or switching over to defeat the set field. By the time he was bowled by a Dwayne Smith yorker, the gap between runs needed and deliveries remaining had narrowed appreciably, and Miller’s consecutive sixes of Ravindra Jadeja effectively ended the contest, with seven balls to spare.

Chennai had earlier shrugged off a bog of allegations and a new opening pair to reach an imposing 204-4 after MS Dhoni elected to bat. Long time opening servants Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay had given way to an untested association between Smith (66, 43b) and Brendon McCullum (67, 45b). This was also the seventh anniversary, if you may call it that, of the Kiwi’s defining ton in the first ever IPL match way back in 2008. Chennai’s new opening pair decided to make their debut count with a brutal stand for 124.

Best Powerplay Score

They first took the Super Kings to their highest ever Powerplay score (70-0 after 6 overs) and then past its seventh century opening partnership. If that wasn’t bad for the bowling side, Mitchell Johnson, Punjab’s ace in the hole, made it worse. The left-arm speedster went for an unimaginable wicket-less 47 in his four overs as McCullum treated him with especial disdain, even upper-cutting a six off him.

McCullum was dropped by Bailey at short mid-off when he had scored 22. He needed no further invitations to wreak havoc and crossed 5,000 runs in all T20 cricket, even though he slowed down after reaching his half-century in just 30 balls, Smith took on the mantle scoring quickly.

This was also Suresh Raina’s 100th game for CSK. He has played in every single game the franchise has featured in. Perhaps heedful of that, the gods allowed him an extra life when Wriddhiman Saha couldn’t hang on to a wide catch off Rishi Dhawan’s slower ball. Raina couldn’t really make it count and was out for 24. But Dhoni had enough luck and skill to get the team past the 200-run mark, even though he couldn’t find an answer to Maxwell in the second essay.

Source: Yahoo Cricket

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