Kings XI v Sunrisers, IPL 2014, Sharjah April 22, 2014

No stopping Maxwell and Kings XI


Kings XI Punjab 193 for 6 (Maxwell 95, Bhuvneshwar 3-19) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 121 (Balaji 4-13) by 72 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Agarkar: Maxwell's shot-making ability amazing

Last season, Glenn Maxwell was the punchline to tons of millionaire jokes. He warmed the Mumbai Indians bench for much of the campaign, and was a peripheral figure in the three matches he did play. This time, the season is only a week old, and he's not just played three matches, he's been the Man of the Match in each.

The people laughing now will be Kings XI Punjab's owners who will view the million dollars they sunk on Maxwell as a bargain given the three impressive wins he has orchestrated at the start of the season. If the previous two victories had been thrilling encounters in which Kings XI hunted down massive scores, this was a forgettably one-sided affair after Maxwell put on a show again to lead the side to 193. Especially after L Balaji removed David Warner and Aaron Finch in the fifth over.

Sunrisers Hyderabad have a dangerous top order - any of Shikhar Dhawan, Warner or Finch can single-handedly transform a match - but they also have a dangerously unbalanced batting line-up. After the big three, the batting is alarmingly thin - KL Rahul is still finding his way at this level, Venugopal Rao isn't someone teams are going to worry about too much, Irfan Pathan is a spot too high at No. 6 and Darren Sammy is great at providing the finishing touches but less proficient at building the base.

Once Mitchell Johnson accounted for Dhawan and Balaji made his double breakthrough, it was a hour-long dirge for Sunrisers' fans before it ended in a crushing 72-run defeat, leaving them with plenty of questions over the composition of the team.

Warner won't just be disappointed with his low score, but also with his botched catch that reprieved Maxwell on 11. With Wriddhiman Saha slotted for No. 6, Kings XI don't have too much depth in their batting, something Sunrisers could have capitalised on had Warner held on to a fairly straightforward chance at long-off in the 10th over.

Instead, the chance went went down and Maxwell went on to pillage 95 off 43, including nine sixes. The highlight of the onslaught was the 13th over when Maxwell effortlessly cleared midwicket off the first three deliveries before launching one towards the sightscreen to take 25 runs off Amit Mishra. This innings had fewer of the switch-hits and reverse-sweeps and was more about clean hitting down the ground and, especially, over midwicket.

It was the prefect setting for Maxwell as the openers Cheteshwar Pujara and Virender Sehwag had provided a fast start from which he could build. He had plenty of luck as well - besides the Warner reprieve, he was caught off a no-ball, a skier was in the air for ages but evaded everyone when it landed at midwicket. Sunrisers also didn't bring on their main weapon, Dale Steyn, when Maxwell was in the midst of his carnage. Till he was 72 off 29, Maxwell faced neither Steyn nor Bhuvneshwar Kumar - both of whom combined to limit the damage at the end of the innings.

Still, though Kings XI didn't reach the 200 that they looked nailed on for, they reached a total which proved far too much for Sunrisers.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Naresh on April 26, 2014, 6:51 GMT

    Balaji's reemergence as a pace hope for India is good news!! He is accurate bowler!!

  • Srikanth on April 23, 2014, 14:40 GMT

    To make a turn around they need some batsman, may be pick Eion Morgan(Eng), Chigumbura(Zim), 1 each from Holland/Ireland/Bangladesh. Atleast they will swing the bat blindly, whatever the pace..they can dig-in later after connecting some..

  • Sriram on April 23, 2014, 13:21 GMT

    Dhawan as captain is not a great choice. Sammy might find it difficult to captain indian players! That leaves with Finch as a possible alternative.

  • ESPN on April 23, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    Oh God. If the players stopped respecting the captain then the team is doomed. SRH needs to hurry and make Sammy the captain. Although SRH has some very good players. It will take only a couple more games to set the morale low for good. So even with the unchanged side they need a new captain.

    They also need to work on the middle order. Move any one of the top three, preferably Dhawan as he is out of form, to the middle. Or bring in Brendan Taylor in place of Finch. That will open up a spot for an extra batsman in the middle. Dhawan Warner Brendan Taylor Venugopal Sammy Irfan Karan Bhuvi Mishra Steyn Ishant

    I would keep Irfan for a couple more games in place of Venugopal because he is an allrounder and a pinch hitter. But he should bat after Sammy. But they need to bring in Ishant and finish his 4 overs at the start because Ishant is always expensive at death overs.

  • qadeer on April 23, 2014, 12:06 GMT

    Maxwell is just playing a positive cricket,he knows exactly whats this format(t-20) is all about,his slog sweep and reverse sweep are main weapons against any spin attack,no matters either its a world class spinner or some one ordinary.

  • Android on April 23, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    Maxwell already given two lolly catch to opp during match against #CSK nd #SRH but both chances are vanished. so he took advantage against them. Some one have to beat him as bowl good yorker or out swing out side off stump with good length. because all runs come for maxi from deep squareleg as he played slog sweep. Maxi is a player who can play ortho-unorthodex cricket shot over 360 degree at ground. so far we witnessed impose him to play to coverside is the trick to take his wicket.

  • sameer on April 23, 2014, 11:36 GMT

    Maxwell batting reminds me of young Ricky ponting. fearless cricketer with good technique....why are everybody calculating size of boundaries suddenly when Maxwell is hitting India boundaries are much smaller for IPL matches and still we praise dhoni,rohit sharma and co. for hitting sixes without checking boundary size's....In match against CSK in dubai..the ground was very big and he hit many fours in gaps..."he is hitting mediocre bowlers" ...ashwin,amit mishra are international bowlers..also getting out on 95 twice ..most of asian players will slow down to reach hundred..but he doesn't care..even in match against CSK he did not raised his bat after reaching fifty.I am an Indian but i appreciate maxwell's amazing start to this IPL..

  • Dummy4 on April 23, 2014, 11:33 GMT

    all the 4 Foreign Players were demolished by BALAJI last evening

  • Vinod on April 23, 2014, 11:09 GMT

    it is not that maxwell is unstoppable. he gives some chances to the fielders but if the fielders are not upto their task......the best thing about him is his confidence as david miller usually waits for his turn in the dug out when maxwell walks out.

  • aditya on April 23, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    @Jegganathan since a year ago shikhar dhawan is more or less the regular opener in the team across all 3 formats.. so i suggest u read up

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