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Kings XI show batting depth in victory

Kings XI Punjab 146 for 5 (Maxwell 43, Perera 35*, Bailey 34*) beat Hobart Hurricanes 144 for 6 (Birt 28, Wells 28, Perera 2-17) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The loss of Mitchell Johnson to a rib injury had left Kings XI Punjab's bowling looking a little suspect ahead of their Champions T20 opener, but it proved a bit of a blessing in disguise for them, with his replacement playing a crucial hand in an five-wicket win over Hobart Hurricanes.

With the four-foreigner limit leaving no room for him in Kings XI's star-studded line-up, Thisara Perera didn't play a single game for them during their 2014 IPL campaign. With Johnson's absence giving him an opportunity, Perera grabbed it, taking two wickets in a three-over spell in which he conceded less than a run a ball before coming in to bat in a thorny situation and scoring an unbeaten 20-ball 35 that steered Kings XI to a win with 14 balls remaining.

The margin of victory looked fairly wide in the end, but it could have gone either way when Kings XI were 51 for 4 in the eighth over, chasing 147. This, though, was where the quality and depth of their batting came to the fore, with Glenn Maxwell playing strokes that belied a two-paced pitch on his way to a 25-ball 43 and George Bailey showing a cool head that his Big Bash League franchise could have done with during their innings, in putting on an unbroken 69 with Perera.

During the IPL, Kings XI had won six out of seven matches batting second, and had chased three 190-plus targets successfully. But on a greenish Mohali pitch where the back-of-a-length ball behaved a touch unpredictably - moving sideways when new, stopping on the batsmen later on, and often bouncing more than expected - their top order were quickly in trouble. Virender Sehwag's first-ball dismissal owed more to his impetuosity than to the conditions, but Wriddhiman Saha, David Miller and Manan Vohra were all discomfited by the extra bounce, and ended up skying catches to mid-on or mid-off while going hard at length balls.

Under these circumstances, Maxwell's innings showcased his rare talent, as he somehow found ways to slap the seamers inside-out or loft them back over their heads, while also playing one of his trademark reverse-sweeps against the legspinner Cameron Boyce.

It was an over from Boyce that reversed the momentum of the game back towards Kings XI, immediately after Maxwell had edged Evan Gulbis to the keeper. Perera found the third-man boundary via a streaky edge before hitting Boyce back over his head for six. Bailey then found the gap between deep midwicket and long-on when Boyce dropped his last ball short - 18 came off that over, and it left Kings XI needing 50 off 48.

Bailey and Perera kept their heads, attacked the loose balls - which for Perera was mostly whatever he could swing over the arc between midwicket and long-on - and the win, when it was achieved, came with time and wickets to spare, Bailey clouting Gulbis for successive fours in the 18th over.

Hurricanes' innings, after they had been sent in to bat, lacked a sustained period when the batsmen were on top of the bowlers. Ben Dunk and Aiden Blizzard, the two left-handers in their top three, struggled for timing early on and got themselves out just as they were beginning to look comfortable. Perera dismissed both of them, and both times the extra bounce caused them to mishit length or back-of-a-length balls, to deep and short cover respectively.

At 78 for 4 in the 13th over, Hurricanes seemed to be going nowhere when Jonathan Wells joined Travis Birt. They proceeded to add 52, with the left-handed Birt flourishing while hitting the legspinner Karanveer Singh with the spin and the right-handed Wells cutting and driving fluently through the off side. Just when the partnership was threatening to take Hurricanes to a biggish total, however, Wells ran himself out, and Kings XI tightened the screws once again, conceding only 14 runs off the last 14 balls of the innings.

Solid in the middle

5

Number of times, including today, that Nos. 5, 6 and 7 have made 30+ in an innings in T20 cricket

Hilfenhaus goes short

5

Number of short balls bowled by Hilfenhaus in today's game - more than any other bowler

One big over

18

Runs conceded by Cameron Boyce in the 12th over of Kings XI's innings, the most expensive of his T20 career

Consistently explosive

8

Number of T20 batsmen with a 20+ average and a 150+ strike rate, from a minimum of 50 innings. The list includes Maxwell and Sehwag

Marauding Manan

40

Manan Vohra's average in T20 cricket since May, before this game. He's made his runs at a strike rate of 140 (324 runs in eight innings)

Kings of the chase

85

KXIP's win percentage while chasing targets of 150 or less

First-over blues

14

Number of times Sehwag has been dismissed in the first over of a T20 innings - more than any other batsman

Defendable?

1

Number of times, in five previous attempts, that Hurricanes have successfully defended a sub-150 score.

Parsimonious Patel

5.93

Akshar Patel's T20 economy rate this year - Only Daniel Vettori has done better, among left-arm spinners who have bowled a minimum of 10 innings

Finish with a flourish

46

Hurricanes' average score in the last five overs while batting first - that will take them to 155

Out of reach?

0

Number of times Hurricanes have posted 150 after scoring 60 or less in 10 overs

Journeyman

6

Number of countries Shoaib Malik has played domestic T20 in. He has represented eight teams in all

Non-violent Hurricanes

17

Hurricanes have made their slowest-ever start, reaching 17 for 1 at the five-over mark

The opening stand

29

The average opening partnership in Mohali in T20 cricket

Dunk on top

395

Runs scored by Ben Dunk in the last edition of the Big Bash League - he was the leading run-scorer

Champions League Twenty20

Group A
TEAMMWLPTNRR
KKR440160.716
CSK421100.945
PS4228-0.038
Lions4126-0.051
DOLPH4040-1.338
Group B
TEAMMWLPTNRR
KXIP440162.13
HH431121.193
BT4134-0.256
COBRA4134-0.955
ND4134-2.667
Qualifying Group
TEAMMWLPTNRR
ND330122.08
Lions3218-0.065
MI3124-0.064
Expre3030-2.033