Maxwell 90 leads rout of Super Kings
Kings XI Punjab 231 for 4 (Maxwell 90, Miller 47, Bailey 40*) beat Chennai Super Kings 187 for 6 (du Plessis 52) by 44 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Glenn Maxwell fell within touching distance of a century for the fourth time in the competition, but neither he nor Kings XI Punjab were complaining in the end as the side maintained their winning run each time Maxwell made a massive contribution. Maxwell and David Miller set off fireworks in Cuttack to lift Kings XI to the season's highest total - 231 - and though Super Kings managed 187, at no stage were they serious contenders in the chase. The win took Kings XI to the top of the table.
Such was the carnage by Kings XI that it was easy to forget that only 69 came off the first ten overs. The next ten produced a whopping 162, an IPL record, of which the last five produced 78. The Miller-Maxwell partnership was worth 135 and after both departed, there was no respite for Super Kings as George Bailey and Mitchell Johnson swung their bats around to add 49 off just 16 balls to end the innings.
Both captains weren't quite sure how the pitch would play out, given that it was Cuttack's first match, but Virender Sehwag's rousing start was an indication that the batsmen would have it easy. However, at 37 for 2 and with Maxwell having just arrived, Kings XI abandoned their strategy of sending in the relatively passive Wriddhiman Saha and instead promoted Miller. Investing in their power hitters with nearly 15 overs remaining was the way to go.
The blitzkrieg began in the 11th over. R Ashwin continued with his tried-and-tested plan by bowling round the wicket to the right-hander, but his variations had no effect on Maxwell who smashed two sixes over deep square-leg. A rattled Ashwin strayed too wide either side of the stumps to check Maxwell but he was penalised. Ashwin was in for greater punishment in his following over as Maxwell smashed two fours and two sixes, including one that was reverse swept over third man.
Three overs of spin, including one from Ravindra Jadeja, leaked 52 and Ashwin was carted for 38 off two overs. The boundary barrage started to wear down the fielders as the normally safe Brendon McCullum let one slip at the boundary.
MS Dhoni later said that the inability of the spinners to contain Maxwell and Miller was the turning point. He turned to Ishwar Pandey to limit the damage and he too was spanked, for 18 in an over. Length balls were duly smashed and attempted yorkers turned into low full tosses that were dispatched. Jadeja tried bowling it flat and quick as a defensive option but Miller put him away, slashing past short third man and launching one over deep cover. Miller and Maxwell brought up the century stand off just 8.5 overs.
Dwayne Smith broke the partnership when Miller inside edged on to his stumps. Prior to that, though, Maxwell had biffed Smith for three sixes, including two audacious reverse pulls over third man. With a century in sight, however, Maxwell didn't slow down and his knock ended on 90 when he slogged a slower ball from Mohit to Jadeja at deep midwicket.
The depth in Kings XI's batting took them past 200 for the second time this season, both against Super Kings, though the previous occasion was a successful chase. Bailey and Johnson took 40 off the last two overs to push the score to 231.
Super Kings failed to put on partnerships even close to the tune of Miller and Maxwell. Their best hopes rested on their successful opening pair of Smith and McCullum, but their association ended in the first over. Following Jadeja's departure in the 11th over, Super Kings dropped the idea of attaining the target and focused on getting as many as possible for the sake of net run-rate. Du Plessis made an attractive fifty, but his efforts were lost in the din of Maxwell and Miller.
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo