Mohali: A cracking knock from Glenn Maxwell helped Kings XI Punjab overcome a poor start to their chase and win the battle of first-timers against Hobart Hurricanesby five wickets in the Champions League T20 here today. Kings were reduced to 51 for four in the chase of 145 before Maxwell hammered 43 runs off 25 balls to turn things around for the home team. Thereafter, captain George Bailey (34 runs of 27 balls) and Thisara Perera (35 off 20) shared a blistering 69-run stand to make short work of the target in17.4 overs.
Hurricanes, who made their tournament debut alongside Kings tonight, recovered to make 144 for six after Bailey won the toss and decided to put the opposition in. Kings had a disastrous start to their chase with Virender Sehwag caught at third man off Doug Bollinger (2/30) on the very first ball. The hosts, high on international stars, were expected to chase down the target easily but the Hurricanes bowlers dashed that expectation by making the opposition batsmen uncomfortable through sheer pace. Wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha (11) joined Manan Vohra at the crease came after Sehwag’s failure. He could not do negotiate the serious pace for long and scooped a simple catch to Shoaib Malik at mid-on.
Ben Hilfenhaus (1/30) was equally effective from the other end and took the important wicket of David Miller (0) to leave Kings reeling at 23 for three in the fourth over. The southpaw from South Africa went for the big shots straight away only to be caught at mid-off. Soon after Vohra’s lacklustre innings came to end, making it 51 for four in 7.3 overs. All Kings’ hopes were now pinned on their dangerous overseas player Glenn Maxwell and he did not disappoint.
He instantly made his presence felt in the middle by hammering fellow Australian Bollinger for a straight six. Maxwell, one of the stars of IPL-7, went on to smash four boundaries and another maximum in his blazing knock. The Kings camp knew they will be home if the ‘big show’ stayed any longer. His sudden departure however tilted the game in favour of Hurricanes again. Maxwell attempted to whack another one out of the park over mid-wicket but ended up edging it to the wicket-keeper off medium pacer Evon Gulbis. The hosts still needed 68 runs off 54 balls.
It was down to the skipper Bailey and Perera to get their team over the line and the experienced pair eventually managed to do that with little difficulty. Their 69-run partnership came off just 41 balls.