After scoring 95 and 89 in his last two innings, Maxwell once again produced a devastating knock, which was studded with nine sixes and five fours as Punjab posted an imposing 193 for six in their 20 overs.
George Bailey’s men then came up with a clinical bowling display to dismiss Hyderabad for 121 with four balls to spare at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium as Punjab registered their third straight win.
Maxwell, who was dropped by David Warner off Karn Sharma in the 10th over before Darren Sammy had him caught off a no-ball in the 15th over, shared 68 runs off 27 balls with David Miller for the third wicket. He also added 35 runs with Cheteshwar Pujara and 25 runs with skipper Bailey.
Chasing 194 for win, Hyderabad just couldn’t mount a serious challenge. Balaji returned with incredible figures of 4-0-13-4, while Mitchell Johnson (2 for 26) and Akshar Patel (2/20) snapped two wickets each. Sandeep Sharma (1/26) and Rishi Dhawan (1/23) took one each for Punjab.
Hyderabad were reduced to 33 for three in 4.5 overs. While Johnson struck the first blow dismissing skipper Shikhar Dhawan (1) off his second ball, it was Balaji’s twin strike in his opening over which derailed their chase.
Balaji first knocked off Aaron Finch’s (19) stumps with an angled delivery, while two balls later, a back of a length delivery sent David Warner (8) back to the hut with Maxwell taking the catch at point.
Y Venugopal Rao (11) tried his bit and scored a couple of boundaries off Dhawan’s first over but he was sent back to the pavilion by Sandeep Sharma after the power-play overs.
K L?Rahul and Irfan Pathan tried to build a stand but Patel dismissed the latter as Hyderabad slipped to 74 for five .
Sammy blasted 15 off 11 balls before becoming the third victim of Balaji, while Rahul’s 27-run innings was cut short by Patel in the 15th over. Rest of the batsmen also fell cheaply.
Earlier, Virender Sehwag (30) and Cheteshwar Pujara (35) gave Punjab a good start after they were put into bat, amassing their best opening partnership of 51 off 40 balls.
Maxwell then sent the bowlers on a leather hunt with an array of shots. In the 12th over, the Australian cracked back-to-back boundaries, hitting a six and a four off Irfan Pathan, who was brought in the team in place of Ishant Sharma. The 25-year-old all-rounder exploded in the 13th over, blasting three successive sixes off Mishra, while David Miller added another one as Punjab amassed 25 runs.
In the next over, Maxwell smashed one six and a couple of boundaries to garner 16 runs off Sharma. He had another reprieve when he was caught off a Smmy no-ball. Maxwell made Hyderabad pay for their mistake before being dismissed, just five runs short of a hundred.