IPL 7 Results: Maxwell, Miller Blitz Rajasthan Royals Into Submission as Kings XI Make Mockery of Another Big Chase
By Deepak Vikraman | April 21, 2014 4:07 AM EST
Glenn Maxwell proved he is no one-hit wonder, in fact he showed he has got an album full of hits, and then some. With fellow lead act David Miller singing a similar tune, the Kings XI Punjab pulled off yet another massive chase to set the pulses, hearts and minds racing into overdrive.
Maxwell brought out his pyrotechnics in some style for a second consecutive game, while Miller was the finisher extraordinaire, smashing the bowlers, particularly poor-old Dhawal Kulkarni, into oblivion to guide the Kings XI Punjab to a massive seven-wicket win over the don't-know-what-just-hit-us Rajasthan Royals.
Put into bat, the Royals put on a mammoth 191 for five in their 20 overs, with Shane Watson (50) and Sanju Samson (52) notching impeccable half-centuries.
But then, Kings XI, fresh from chasing a total over 200 against the Chennai Super Kings, showed one more time, no total is ever enough against them, with Maxwell (89) and Miller (51) taking their side home with a T20 chasing master class, as the Punjab franchise finished on 193 for three in just 18.4 overs.
There was to be no Virender Sehwag (2, 7b) special yet again in the chase, as the India veteran fell hook, line and sinker into a trap set by the Royals, cutting a wide delivery from Kulkarni (4-0-50-1) straight into the hands of Stuart Binny, who had been specially placed at deep point for just that shot.
Wriddhiman Saha, sent in at No. 3, also fell in the next over, holing out to Kulkarni off Faulkner to put Kings XI under pressure at 10 for two.
With Maxwell in the lineup, though, there really is no target safe enough, and the Australian pyrotechincian just brought out those innovative big guns yet again to tear the Royals bowlers apart systematically.
Cheteshwar Pujara, while not exactly setting the world on fire, was doing his job reasonably well, giving the strike to Maxwell, which the Aussie made full use of, and then some.
From an improbable 153 in 14 overs, Maxwell's stunning boundary hitting brought the target down to 90 from the final eight overs, with the Australian then cutting that further, with a couple of sixes, to 72 from the final seven overs.
Fellow Aussie Kane Richardson opened up the game again in the 14th over, picking the wicket of Maxwell (89, 45b, 8x4, 6x6) with the Kings XI slugger unable to clear the long-on boundary, for once, with Steven Smith completing a simple catch to make it an all Australian dismissal.
The impetus, following Maxwell's wicket, was lost a little as Pujara (40, 38b, 3x4) struggled to find the boundaries, or even get out, while David Miller needed a few deliveries to find his rhythm. With 49 needed from the final four overs, something had to give.
After a 12-run over off James Faulkner, Miller went berserk on Kulkarni, carting the fast bowler for four sixes, and massive ones at that, in a row to tilt the game well and truly Kings XI's way.
With that massive 27-run over, Punjab only needed 10 runs from the final 12 deliveries, and Miller (51, 19b, 5x6) fittingly finished it off with a six, while also completing the second fastest half-century in IPL history.
The first innings saw some absolute brilliance from Sanju Samson and the sheer power of Shane Watson as the Rajasthan Royals found their batting form in some style.
The Royals lost one of their main lynchpins Ajinkya Rahane early on, with a misunderstanding between himself and opening partner Abhishek Nayar allowing George Bailey to throw down the stumps.
However, the early wicket did not seem to bother the Royals too much as Nayar and Samson built a good partnership for the second wicket and in double quick time. The two put on 32 from three overs with Samson giving a taste of what was to come with some stunning boundaries.
The ease with which this kid bats is quite amazing, and even the likes of Mitchell Johnson could do little to stop the teenager. Nayar played a 20-ball 23 (2x4, 1x6) before being given out lbw off Murali Kartik's first ball.
That wicket brought in Watson and the skipper took his time to get settled at the crease, before catching fire, while Samson continued his merry way at the other end - couple of sixes from the right-hander's blade worth the ticket price on its own.
Watson waited until the 11th over, at which point he was just 16 from 16 deliveries, to wield that heavy blade of his, with L Balaji and then Kartik, who went for 46 and 51 runs respectively from their four overs, suffering the big man's wrath. In a blink of an eye, Watson raced to his 50 in just 28 balls, with five fours and three maximums, before Akshar Patel found a way past the Rajasthan captain's blade to shatter the stumps.
Samson (52, 34b, 3x4, 4x6) after watching Stuart Binny come and go quickly, took over, reaching his own half-century with a flat-batted six over the bowler, before Parvinder Awana struck timber.
Smith, in for the ill Brad Hodge, though finished the innings off nicely with a quickfire 15-ball 27 (5x4) to take the Royals just below the 200-run mark, a score which was no match for Maxwell and Miller's powers.
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