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Punjab win battle of Kings

Cuttack (PTI): Glenn Maxwell continued with his incredible batting form this IPL as he blasted a 38-ball 90 in a stupendous exhibition of strokeplay to take Kings XI Punjab to a comprehensive 44-run victory over Chennai Super Kings here on Wednesday.

Maxwell, the highest run scorer this season with 435 from seven matches, butchered the Chennai bowlers to submission as Punjab scored 231 for 4 — the highest total of IPL-7 — after his side was put into bat at the Barabati Stadium.

Chasing a mammoth target of 232, Chennai, which boasted of one of the best batting line-ups this season, could only score 187 for six to slump to their second defeat. Their other defeat was also against the same opponents with Maxwell hitting a 43-ball 95 in Punjab’s six-wicket win on April 18 in Abu Dhabi in the UAE leg of IPL-7.

Chennai suffered a jolt in the first over itself with in-form opener Dwayne Smith getting out for just four.

The other opener Brendon McCullum (33) and Suresh Raina (35) kept Chennai in for a slim chance with a 51-run stand for the second wicket but they failed to keep pace with the asking rate which shot up to nearly 15 per over by the halfway mark.

Ravindra Jadeja (17) departed just after the halfway mark while McCullum was run out thanks to a brilliant piece of fielding by Mitchell Johnson.

It was all over by then for Chennai as they needed 113 runs from the last five overs. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (23) and Faf du Plessis (52) delayed the inevitable with a 61-run stand for the fifth wicket but Chennai finally found themselves outclassed by a rival team for the second time in the tournament.

With this victory, Punjab jumped to the top of the league table with 12 points from seven matches. Chennai have also secured the same points from eight matches but Punjab were on top on better net run rate.

The win by Punjab also snapped Chennai’s six-match winning streak in IPL-7.
It was a Maxwell show all the way in the clash of table toppers as the 25-year-old Australian hit six fours and eight sixes to take his side to the fifth highest total in IPL history with the jampacked crowd enjoying the unbelievable batting show, including his three reverse hit sixes.

Maxwell stitched 135 runs with David Miller (47 off 32 balls) for the third wicket from just 10.4 overs after they came together in the sixth over at 2/38.

Punjab added an incredible 162 runs in the second half of their innings with captain George Bailey chipping in with a cameo of 13-ball 40 n.o.

Maxwell’s score in the seven matches he has played so far in IPL-7 were 95, 89, 95, 15, 6 and 45 before Wednesday’s 90.

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