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By Shrikant Shankar
Apr 20, 2014
Glenn Maxwell-powered Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) chased down a 192-run target to beat Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 on April 20. Maxwell top-scored with 89 runs as Punjab won Match 7 of IPL 7 by seven wickets. David Miller finished off the match with a 19-ball 51. Cheteshwar Pujara contributed with a steady 40 runs.
While the duo did not bat together, they did hit six sixes each. Maxwell also struck eight fours. Pujara hit three fours in his innings. Almost all the bowlers were taken apart by Maxwell and Miller. This is the second match in-a-row that Punjab have chased down a massive target in IPL 7.
Kane Richardson opened with the new ball for Rajasthan. Cheteshwar Pujara and Virender Sehwag began the run-chase. Dhawal Kulkarni shared the new ball with Richardson. The Royals had done their homework against Sehwag and placed a fielder at deep point. Kulkarni bowled one slightly wide and Sehwag fell into the trap and cut the ball straight to Stuart Binny at the boundary.
Wriddhiman Saha soon departed as he pulled James Faulkner to Kulkarni at deep backward square-leg. Kulkarni took a good catch covering a lot of ground to his left. Pujara cut a short and wide delivery from Kulkarni behind point for his first four. Punjab then missed an opportunity to get Pujara out as Pravin Tambe dropped a sitter at mid-on.
Maxwell then struck a six and a four on consecutive deliveries to add salt on the wounds. He then slog-swept Tambe on his first delivery for a six over deep square-leg. That was the first six Tambe conceded in IPL history. Faulkner bowled a loose length delivery and Maxwell whipped it over deep backward square-leg for a six. Faulkner then bowled one short and wide on the off side and Maxwell swatted that away over third-man for another six.
The Australian played the reverse-sweep three times in the 11th over bowled by Rajat Bhatia and got three fours on the off side. He reached his half-century in that over. This is his second consecutive fifty in IPL 2014. Kulkarni tried to test Maxwell with a short delivery. But he does not have much pace and Maxwell played the upper cut and got a four in front of short third-man. Maxwell then struck three more fours in that 12th over bowled by Kulkarni.
The carnage continued as Maxwell hit a lofted drive off Bhatia high over long-off for a six. That made Bhatia bowl a slower delivery down the leg side and Maxwell swiped it away for a six over deep square-leg. The match almost turned into a situation where the fielders became spectators and the spectators turned into fielders. The luck also did not favour Rajasthan as Richardson’s slower delivery took an inside edge off Pujara’s bat and missed the stumps on its way for a four behind.
But that luck changed as Maxwell mistimed a lofted drive off Richardson and got caught by Steven Smith. He was out for 89 off 45 deliveries with eight fours and six sixes. David Miller came in and he smashed a six down the ground off Tambe in his final over. Pujara then played an uncharacteristic scoop shot off Faulkner and got a four towards fine-leg. As the 17th over came to an end. Punjab needed 37 runs off 18 deliveries.
Miller struck a low full-toss from Kulkarni over long-on for a six. Kulkarni then bowled a full-toss on the off side and Miller hit the ball over long-off for another six. Miller then slogged a slower length delivery high over deep square-leg for the third six in the over. A total of 21 runs came from Kulkarni’s over. Miller finished off the match with a six off Faulkner as Punjab won the match in 18.4 overs. That was also his half-century and he reached it in only 19 deliveries. Pujara finished on 40 off 38 deliveries. Maxwell was adjudged as the Man of the Match.
Earlier, Rajasthan amassed a total of 191 for five in their 20 overs after Bailey had sent them into bat. Sanju Samson top-scored with 52 off 34 deliveries. He struck three fours and four sixes. Captain Shane Watson scored 50 off 29 deliveries. He hit five fours and three sixes. The belligerent partnership was worth 74 runs with a run-rate of 10.57.
At the time, it seemed the score was more than competitive, but Punjab pulled off another magnificent chase.
Rajasthan Royals 191 for 5 in 20 overs (Abhishek Nayar 23, Sanju Samson 52, Shane Watson 50, Steven Smith 27*; Akshar Patel 1 for 22, Mitchell Johnson 1 for 29) lost to Kings XI Punjab 193 for 3 in 18.4 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 40*, Glenn Maxwell 89, David Miller 51*; Kane Richardson 1 for 25) by 7 wickets.
Man of the Match: Glenn Maxwell
(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)
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