Kings XI rise to the top

2014-04-22 21:30
David Miller (Gallo Images)
Sharjah - Glenn Maxwell and Lakshmipathy Balaji inspired the Kings XI Punjab to a massive 72-run victory over the Sunrisers Hyderabad in an Indian Premier League encounter at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.

The website reports that set a daunting task of having to chase 194 for victory, the Sunrisers were bundled out for 121 in 19.2 overs thanks to Balaji who claimed fantastic figures of 4-13 in four overs.

Punjab, who were asked to bat first, posted 193 for six with Glenn Maxwell scoring his third consecutive half-century, being dismissed by Amit Mishra (2-56) for 95 off only 43 balls with five boundaries and nine maximums.

The Hyderabad chase never left first base as Mitchell Johnson (2-26) struck in his first over, dismissing the Sunrisers’ captain, Shikhar Dhawan, for a single.

Balaji then dealt the killer blow, which the Sunrisers were never able to recover from, as the right-arm seamer dismissed both Aaron Finch (19) and David Warner (eight) in his first over to leave the Hyderabad franchise languishing on 33 for three after five overs.

Lokesh Rahul hung around for a top score of 27 from 27 balls before being caught by David Miller off Akshar Patel (2-20) but none of the Sunrisers’ batsmen were able to handle Balaji, Johnson or Sandeep Sharma (1-26).

The big-hitting West Indian Darren Sammy struck one telling blow onto the roof of the stadium but was caught at mid-off by Patel, who timed his jump to perfection to give Balaji his third wicket.

Balaji then dismissed Dale Steyn (12) in the penultimate over before Rishi Dhawan (1-23) finished off the game by dismissing Bhuvneshwar Kumar for one.

Punjab have had to rely on Maxwell and Miller in previous games but the veteran opener Virender Sehwag (30) and Cheteshwar Pujara (35) made a good start with a first-wicket partnership of 51 inside seven overs. Pujara and Maxwell then scored 35 for the second wicket before Maxwell opened up.

Miller came to the crease at the fall of Pujara’s wicket at the end of the 11th over with the total on 86 for two, but the South African middle-order batsman stood at the non-strikers’ end and watched Maxwell destroy the Sunrisers’ bowling attack.

Maxwell was particularly severe on Mishra, hitting the leg-spinner for 25 runs in one over which included four sixes. But the big-hitting Australian was given an early chance by none other than his international teammate, Warner.

Warner ran in from long-off and dropped a sitter off Karn Sharma (0-37) when he was on 11. Maxwell then raced to his 50 off only 21 balls and was then given a reprieve in the 60s when he was caught at deep midwicket but Sammy had overstepped.

Kumar bowled brilliantly amid all the Maxwell pyrotechnics by claiming 3-19 from his four overs. Steyn bowled decently, conceding 26 runs in four overs despite not taking a wicket.

The Kings XI Punjab have now won three games on the trot, including their first-ever victory over the Sunrisers, and sit atop the IPL log with six points.

The huge loss sees Hyderabad drop to the foot of the table after having lost both their opening games.


Kings XI Punjab: V Sehwag, CA Pujara, GJ Maxwell, DA Miller, GJ Bailey (captain), WP Saha (wicketkeeper), MG Johnson, AR Patel, L Balaji, R Dhawan, Sandeep Sharma

Sunrisers Hyderabad: AJ Finch, S Dhawan (captain), DA Warner, KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), DJG Sammy, Y Venugopal Rao, IK Pathan, KV Sharma, DW Steyn, A Mishra, B Kumar


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