Kings XI Punjab v Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2014, Sharjah

Maxwell, Miller maul massive target

The Report by Sidharth Monga

April 20, 2014

Comments: 79 | Text size: A | A

Kings XI Punjab 193 for 3 (Maxwell 89, Miller 51*, Pujara 40*) beat Rajasthan Royals 191 for 5 (Samson 52, Watson 50) by 7 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Maxwell and Miller - masters of the chase

Lightning has struck twice. After they made mockery of a 200-plus chase in their first match, Kings XI Punjab captain George Bailey said this was not going to happen every day, and that his bowlers needed to turn up. The bowlers failed to turn up again, but Glenn Maxwell and David Miller made light of another massive chase. The numbers there were staggering: between them Maxwell and Miller smashed 140 off 64 balls, smoked 12 sixes and reverse-hit and caressed eight fours. What made it better was that this came against the best defenders in the IPL: this was the first time Rajasthan Royals lost after posting 190 or more.

Kings XI had got off to a sluggish start, their promotion of Wriddhiman Saha had backfired, and the asking rate was 10.5, to be maintained over 17 overs, when Maxwell walked. The ask would cross two a ball as soon as in the 10th over, and a struggling - by T20 standards - Cheteshwar Pujara would make it more difficult for Kings XI. Maxwell, though, turned it into a 'me' v 'them', farmed the strike to the tune of 45 balls to Pujara's 23 in the partnership between them, and ran away with the game with 89 off 45.

The innings was full of incredible hitting, preying on one considerably shorter side boundary and the short straight ones. He began by going after Kane Richardson in the fifth over, moments after Richardson had failed to latch onto an incredibly difficult return catch to his right. The first ball of the next over he smacked Pravin Tambe over square leg, and then eliminated - for the time being - the other big threat, James Faulkner. It began with the first ball of the over again as he flicked a low full toss for six, but he stunned Faulkner with the fifth ball of that seventh over. Faulkner had every reason to believe he had done Maxwell in with a slower bouncer, but from almost halfway down the pitch Faulkner adjusted and upper-cut him for six.

Tambe and Rajat Bhatia pulled things back with their non-turning legrollers, and not much pace to work with. The asking rate shot past 12, and Bhatia began the 11th over with fielders deep on the leg side, and three men behind and around point in the circle. This is when Maxwell in the Mirror made his appearance.

Two reverse-sweeps either side of short third man and one reverse-flick over cover later, Maxwell had gone well past his fifty, and had also brought the asking rate back under control. The next over from Dhawal Kulkarni had a similarly strong leg-side field, and Maxwell produced his touch play again. One upper-cut, one flick, and two gentle pushes past the man at cover brought him 16 runs. And when Maxwell manhandled Bhatia for two sixes in the next over, time had come for Royals to go back to the big guns.

On came Richardson, too much elevation got Maxwell, another century was missed, and Rajasthan were breathing again. They had little clue they were about to jump from the frying pan into the fire, the fire of Miller's 51 off 19. Miller came in with 66 required off 36, which became 60 off 30 with a canny Stuart Binny over, and three quiet deliveries from Tambe compounded it even further, but now Miller began to pick his deliveries to hit. Even though Tambe bowled the next ball short, Miller smashed him over long-off for six. Pujara sort of took care of the next over with a four and three, and now Kings XI needed 37 from the last three.

Richardson and Faulkner had one each left. Royals went to Kulkarni for the third. They could have gone to Binny, who had cut off all pace, and had conceded just four in his only over. They could have kept Kulkarni back for later, and given him a slightly softer scenario if Faulkner had bowled the 18th and got the asking rate even higher. But these decisions have to be made fast, and Kulkarni it was. Kulkarni's idea was right: he was going full, he was going low, but Miller was murderous. Kulkarni didn't miss his yorkers by much, but Miller hit him for four merciless sixes to end the contest then and there.

Bailey will be pleased he has been proven wrong that such chases don't come about every day, but he will want more from his bowlers and fielders. The bowling was listless, they dropped two catches too, and Sanju Samson and Shane Watson feasted on them. Mitchell Johnson, the leader of the attack, looked dull again, bowling just the one bouncer, with which incidentally he hit the batsman. Looking back, they will think that they had triumphed in not letting them score big fifties, but Bailey is right, these chases don't happen every day. Except when Maxwell and Miller are at their best.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by atulks1963 on (April 22, 2014, 0:31 GMT)

The way Maxwell mastred Ashwin in the first match reminded me of Neil Harvey, the great Aussie suthpaw, when first visited India in 1956, the local press start writing that Subhash Gupte will tie up Harvey. When th paper cutting as shown to Harvey, he told that if Gupte has a reputation, then S DO I. And in the second test at Mumbai, Harvey mastered Gupte and scored a superb 140 runs and Gupte was never the same bowler again. In the second match, we thought that he may fail, but he again batted brilliantly nd put all the RR bowlers to the sword and lead his team to victory. Currently his strike rate is 200 plus. I have a gut feeling that he may be the first player to cross 1000 runs in a single tournament. The way he is playing and if he continues to play like this, he is destined to break all IPL batting records. IGNORE Y FIRST LETTER. SECOND ONE POSTED WITH CORRECTIONS. A.K.Srivastava, Salboni, Midnapore

Posted by keralite on (April 21, 2014, 15:28 GMT)

If Sehwag and Johnson finds form, the champions will be Punjab.

Posted by   on (April 21, 2014, 14:35 GMT)

The biggest match of this season will be RCB v KXIP. Gayle kohli abd vs maxi miller bailey sehwag

Posted by atulks1963 on (April 21, 2014, 14:13 GMT)

The way Maxwell mastred Ashwin in the first match reminded me of Neil Harvey, the great Aussie suthpaw, when first visited India in 1956, the local press start writing that Subhash Gupte will tie up Harvey. When th paper cutting as shown to Harvey, he told that if Gupte has a reputation, then S DO I. And in the first test at Mumbai, Harvey mastered Gupte and scored a superb 140 runs and Gupte was never the same bowler again. In thesecond match, we thought that he may fail, but he again batted brilliantly nd put all the RR bowlers to the sword and lead his team to victory. Currently his strike rate is 200 plus. I have a gut feeling that he may be the first player to cross 1000 runs in a single tournament. The way he is playing and if he continues to play like this, he is destined to break all IPL batting records. A.K.Srivastava, Salboni

Posted by imtiazjaleel on (April 21, 2014, 13:17 GMT)

KXI has 4 matchwinners, sehwag, maxwell, miller and bailey and any two of them get going then they can win matches batting second.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (April 21, 2014, 13:05 GMT)

'Maxwell maximums' are soon becoming a patent of IPL.As things look now,every 'half dozen' hit in IPL will have a new name which may become more famed than orig.,more loved even!Sounds better too!Maxwell showing hes greatest young bating talent in world.

Posted by SajMc on (April 21, 2014, 10:16 GMT)

Why is manan vohra not playing in the eleven. After he is the only player to be retained by kings 11

Posted by SuperSharky on (April 21, 2014, 10:07 GMT)

I'm one of those cricket fans who tend to be on the bowler's side & love games with low scores, but this batting game was one of the better games. Great entertainment by both teams & exciting batting by Maxwell & Miller.

Posted by steve48 on (April 21, 2014, 9:51 GMT)

Max/Miller certainly the leading act in this years IPL! Not sure about some of the criticism of Pujara, though. Please note he anchored the innings for the 'big show' and Miller, crucially facing HALF the number of deliveries of his partners. Perfect support role, facing 2 balls per over and offering stability for the big hitters to go for gold.

Posted by   on (April 21, 2014, 8:44 GMT)

loved the game. great batting by Maxwell, untouchable. RR should seriously think about sitting dhaval out. its a shame at that level a bowler can't bowl wide Yorker. he costed us the match in my opinion. ipl keeps getting better every season!

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