The Melbournian falls short of a century yet again, but his marauding 95 sets up KXIP win

Glenn Maxwell’s mayhem continued as Kings XI Punjab steamrollered Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Sharjah cricket stadium on Tuesday night. The 25-year-old Melbournian fell short of a century but made merry nonetheless with a marauding 95 for the second time this IPL season.

Bejewelled with nine boundary-clearing blows and five hits to the ropes, his knock helped the side register 193 for six.

Ripping through Sunrisers’ chase was L. Balaji’s splendid four for 13, largely responsible in bringing it to a close at 121.

If the Sunrisers’ bowlers had become cannon fodder earlier, so did its brittle batting later, and rather readily. The side’s prowess with the willow again proved to be only on paper, the procession to the dugout a seemingly unending stream.

Skipper Shikar Dhawan set the trend, snicking to stumper Wriddhiman Saha off Mitchell Johnson.

Not much later, Aaron Finch heard the deathly rattle of timber behind him off a Balaji delivery that cut in viciously. Balaji then startled David Warner who parried the ball into the waiting hands of Maxwell at point.

Dream spell

On a strip on which his side’s batsmen plundered Balaji boasted dream figures of two for two after that over.

If the bowlers wielded the whip hand until then, the torment inflicted by them became as life-draining as the flagella, with fresh blood infused into the Punjab attack. Sandeep Sharma had Venugopala Rao’s off stump pegged back, while Irfan Pathan’s splayed stumps only highlighted the craven submission of the batsmen.

Darren Sammy, coming in a shade too late, showed resolve but was low on luck, Akshar Patel clasping an overhead chance at mid-off.

Thereon the tail could only delay the inevitable.

The lone change to the Sun Risers squad was Pathan, who came in for Ishant Sharma.

For Punjab, Sandeep got the season’s first game and all-rounder Rishi Dhawan returned. Making way for these two were Parvinder Awana and Murali Karthik.

Maxwell maintained his murderous form caning the bowling like a tyrannical schoolmaster. The lone lapse to the fine touch he showed was a loft towards the sight screen, which Warner, running in from long off, found popping out of his hand.

Rubbing it in

As if to rub it in, the prolific run-getter smacked his sixth six over his compatriot, to bring up his half century.

To add insult to injury, his dismissal at the hands of mid-wicket Bhuvaneshwar Kumar off Sammy was overturned as the latter was found to have over-stepped, revealing, perhaps for the first time, pain on the face of the ever-smiling St. Lucian. Warner would have drawn consolation from being instrumental in David Miller’s exit, making no mistake with the South African’s heave towards long off. Maxwell’s belligerence burgeoned as he reverse swept the spinners, smacking the attack more over the fence than to it.

Scoreboard

Kings XI Punjab: Cheteshwar Pujara c Venugopala b Sammy 35 (32b, 6x4), Virender Sehwag c Sammy b Mishra 30 (22b, 2x4, 3x6), Glenn Maxwell c Sammy b Mishra 95 (43b, 5x4, 9x6), David Miller c Warner b Bhuvneshwar 10 (10b, 1x6), George Bailey c Warner b Bhuvneshwar 10 (8b, 1x4), Mitchell Johnson b Bhuvneshwar 4 (6b), Akshar Patel (not out) 0 (0b); Extras (lb-5, w-3, nb-1): 9; Total (for six wkts. in 20 overs): 193.

Fall of wickets: 1-51 (Sehwag), 2-86 (Pujara), 3-154 (Miller), 4-179 (Maxwell), 5-189 (Bailey), 6-193 (Johnson).

Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling: Dale Steyn 4-0-26-0, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-0-19-3, Irfan Pathan 2-0-28-0, Karn Sharma 4-0-37-0, Amit Mishra 4-0-56-2, Darren Sammy 2-0-22-1.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Aaron Finch b Balaji 19 (15b, 2x4, 1x6), Shikhar Dhawan c Saha b Johnson 1 (3b), David Warner c Maxwell b Balaji 8 (12b, 1x4), Lokesh Rahul c Miller b Akshar 27 (27b, 1x4, 1x6), Venugopala Rao b Sandeep 11 (9b, 2x4), Irfan Pathan b Akshar 5 (9b), Darren Sammy c Akshar b Balaji 15 (11b, 1x6), Karn Sharma c Miller b Johnson 10 (8b, 1x6), Dale Steyn b Balaji 12 (16b), Amit Mishra (not out) 4 (5b), Bhuvneshwar Kumar c Johnson b Dhawan 1 (3b); Extras (lb-3, w-3, nb-2): 8; Total (in 19.2 overs) 121.

Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Dhawan) , 2-31 (Finch), 3-33 (Warner), 4-49 (Rao), 5-74 (Irfan), 6-93 (Sammy), 7-95 (Rahul), 8-114 (Karn), 9-118 (Steyn).

Kings XI Punjab bowling: Sandeep Sharma 4-0-26-1, Mitchell Johnson 4-0-26-2, L. Balaji 4-0-13-4, Rishi Dhawan 2.2-0-23-1, Akshar Patel 4-0-20-2, Glenn Maxwell 1-0-10-0.

Man-of-the-match: Glenn Maxwell