Maxwell Sets Up Stunning Chase

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell hit 95 in just 43 balls as the Kings XI Punjab chased down 206
©REUTERS / Action Images

Kings XI Punjab 206-4 (Maxwell 95) beat
Chennai Super Kings 205-4 by six wickets
Indian Premier League 2014, Abu Dhabi

Glenn Maxwell blasted 95 in 43 balls as the Kings XI Punjab chased a target of 206 to beat the Chennai Super Kings with seven balls to spare in both sides' opening game of the Indian Premier League 2014.

The runs flowed right from the start in Abu Dhabi, where half-centuries from Brendon McCullum (67) and Dwayne Smith (66) saw Chenna post 205 for four.

However, with Maxwell and David Miller (54 not out in 37 balls) in fine form, that score was not enough.

This was the second time that Kings XI have chased down more than 200 to beat the Super Kings and they remain the only team to do so in IPL history.

Batting first, McCullum and Smith took advantage of a belter of a track at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium to hammer the Kings XI bowling to all parts.

The former struck four fours and five sixes in 45 balls and the latter six fours and three sixes in 43 balls and added 123 together in 12.4 overs.

After they were removed by Akshar Patel and Lakshmipathy Balaji, more quick runs were added by Suresh Raina, who celebrated his 100th IPL match with 24 in 19 balls and MS Dhoni, who scored 26 in 11 deliveries.

Dwayne Bravo was unbeaten on eight in three balls when Dhoni fell to Balaji (2-43) from the final ball of the innings.

Bravo would later head to hospital with a shoulder injury, although Dhoni revealed afterwards that he was playing the match as a specialist batsman, and was not offering excuses for his side's failure to defend their score.

Much like the Delhi Daredevils in their opening match, the Super Kings were sloppy in the field and uncharacteristically so.

Samuel Badree, Ravindra Jadeja, Ashish Nehra and Faf du Plessis all dropped catches, with Nehra's allowing Maxwell to continue when on 37.

It was a crucial moment because Kings XI had been 52 for three with Virender Sehwag (19), Cheteshwar Pujara (13) and Patel (2) already dismissed.

There was little opportunity for Maxwell and Miller to consolidate, and they quickly found their range just as McCullum and Smith had done so earlier.

Maxwell led the way, scoring shots all round the ground with drives, pulls, sweeps and reverse sweeps.

He hit 15 fours and two sixes in all before falling with a century in sight when a perfect yorker from Smith got through his defences, breaking the partnership worth 115.

Miller, who up until that point had scored at a fraction more than a run per ball, then stepped up to hit 54 in 37 balls with three fours and three sixes.

From needing 59 to win in six overs, Maxwell, Miller and then George Bailey got the target down to just 16 needed in two overs.

That proved to be no obstacle and Bailey, unbeaten on 17 in 10 balls, finished off the job with a brace of boundaries in the 19th over of Mohit Sharma to ensure the Kings XI were off the mark at the earliest opportunity.

Ravichandran Ashwin finished with two for 41, Smith one for 25 and Nehra one for 24.

© Cricket World 2014