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Harsh Kalan in Mumbai 18 April 2014 - 07:42pm IST

Report: Match 3 – CSK v KXIP

Maxwell shines as new-look KXIP prevail in battle of Kings

Kings XI Punjab made a big statement by beating two-time IPL champions, Chennai Super Kings, by six wickets in their season opener. Led by the big-hitting duo of Glenn Maxwell (95) and David Miller (54), KXIP reached the sizeable 206-run target with seven balls to spare.

Earlier, the explosive Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum launched the CSK innings, after MS Dhoni opted to bat first. Both openers, who were playing for the Chennai franchise for the first time, took the KXIP bowlers head on. 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. In fact, CSK had put up 70 without loss by the time the sixth over drew to a close. In the process, they clocked their best powerplay score in IPL competition.

McCullum soon brought up his half-century in just 30 balls. CSK then raced to 100 in the 10th over, thanks to the constant onslaught by both batters. Finally, KXIP were able to get a breakthrough in the 12th over thanks to Akshar Patel; the left-arm spinner got rid of McCullum (67), who appeared set for a big score. The wicket, however, brought momentary respite for the team from Mohali. With Suresh Raina, who was playing his 100th IPL match, walking out in the middle, Smith found another able ally to continue the barrage of big hits. 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. The CSK skipper, along with Dwayne Bravo (8*), however, ensured the score went past the 200-run mark with some late-innings big hits. Dhoni (26) perished off the last ball of the 20th over with the scoreboard reading 205 for four. For KXIP, Lakshmipathy Balaji ended up with two wickets for 43 in his four overs, while Patel and Awana claimed a scalp each.

In response, Cheteshwar Pujara (13) and Virender Sehwag (19) got KXIP off to a brisk start. However, the Nawab of Najafgarh was done in by his Dehli teammate, Ashish Nehra, before he could make any serious impact on the course of the match. Pujara soon succumbed to R Ashwin, who trapped him leg-before. Patel (2) was also out in the same fashion to Ashwin, leaving KXIP on 51 for three in 5.1 overs.

David Miller then joined forces with Glenn Maxwell in an attempt to revive the run-chase. The pair kept chipping away at the target with occasional boundaries and brought up the team 100 in the 11th over. However, Maxwell stepped on the pedal after reaching his half-century; he had the lion’s share of runs in a Pawan Negi over that cost 22 runs. The Australian batsman’s 43-ball stay at the crease was laced with 15 fours and two massive sixes. Smith finally got rid of Maxwell – who was dropped while on 77 – after he swung the game in KXIP’s favour.

Miller (54), meanwhile, reached his half-century and brought the run-chase equation to under a run-a-ball. Thereafter, KXIP did not suffer any setbacks as George Bailey (17), who joined Miller in the middle, helped take his side over the line with a boundary.

Man of the Match: Glenn Maxwell for his match-winning knock of 95 (43 balls; 15x4; 2x6)

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