Cuttack: Glenn Maxwell continued with his incredible batting form in this IPL as he blasted a 38-ball 90 in a stupendous exhibition of strokeplay to single-handedly take Kings XI Punjab to a comprehensive 44-run victory over Chennai Super Kings here on Wednesday. Maxwell, the highest run scorer this season with 435 from seven matches, butchered the Chennai bowlers to submission as Punjab scored 231 for 4 — the highest total of IPL-7 so far — after his side was put into bat at the Barabati Stadium.
Chasing a mammoth target of 232, Chennai, which boasted of one of the best batting line-ups this season, could only score 187 for six to slump to their second defeat. Their other defeat was also against the same opponents with Maxwell hitting a 43-ball 95 in Punjab’s six-wicket win on April 18 in Abu Dhabi in the UAE leg of IPL-7.
Chennai suffered a jolt in the first over itself with in-form opener Dwayne Smith getting out for just four. The other opener Brendon McCullum (33) and Suresh Raina (35) kept Chennai in for a slim chance with a 51 run stand for the second wicket but they failed to keep pace with the asking rate which shot up to nearly 15 per over by the halfway mark. Ravindra Jadeja (17) departed just after the halfway mark while McCullum was run out thanks to a brilliant piece of fielding by Mitchell Johnson.
It was all over by then for Chennai as they needed 113 runs from the last five overs. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (23) and Faf du Plessis (52) delayed the inevitable with a 61-run stand for the fifth wicket but Chennai finally found themselves outclassed by a rival team for the second time in the tournament. With this victory, Punjab jumped to the top of the league table with 12 points from seven matches. Chennai have also secured the same points from eight matches but Punjab were on top on better net run rate. Punjab also snapped Chennai’s six match winning streak in the IPL-7. It was a Maxwell show all the way in the clash of table toppers as he hit six fours and eight sixes.
Kings XI Punjab: V. Sehwag b Hilfenhaus 30, Mandeep Singh c Pandey b Mohit 3, G. Maxwell c Jadeja b Mohit 90, D. Miller b Smith 47, G. Bailey (not out) 40, M. Johnson (not out) 11. Extras (lb5, w5) 10. Total (for four wickets in 20 overs) 231.
FoW: 1-33, 2-38, 3-173, 4-182.
Bowling: Hilfenhaus 4-0-36-1, Pandey 4-0-41-0, Mohit 4-0-38-2, Smith 3-0-36-1, Jadeja 3-0-37-0, Ashwin 2-0-38-0.
Chennai Super Kings: D. Smith c Johnson b Sandeep Sharma 4, B. McCullum (run out) Johnson 33, S. Raina c Miller b Maxwell 35, R. Jadeja b Dhawan 17, F. du Plessis c Kartik b Johnson 52, M. Dhoni c Bailey b Johnson 23, M. Manhas (not out) 8, R. Ashwin (not out) 11. Extras (lb 1, w 3) 4. Total (for six wickets in 20 overs) 187.
FoW: 1-5, 2-56, 3-88, 4-98, 5-159, 6-167.
Bowling: S. Sharma 4-0-37-1, M. Johnson 4-0-37-2, M. Kartik 4-0-40-0, A. Patel 4-0-28-0, G. Maxwell 2-0-21-1, R. Dhawan 2-0-23-1.