A cracking knock from Glenn Maxwell and an all-round show by Thisara Perera helped Kings XI Punjab win the battle of first-timers against Hobart Hurricanes by five wickets in the Champions League T20
Mohali: A cracking knock from Glenn Maxwell helped Kings XI Punjab overcome a poor start to their chase and win the battle of first-timers against Hobart Hurricanes by five wickets in the Champions League T20 here today.
Kings were reduced to 51 for four in the chase of 145 before Maxwell hammered 43 runs off 25 balls to turn things around for the home team. Thereafter, captain George Bailey (34 runs of 27 balls) and Thisara Perera (35 off 20) shared a blistering 69-run stand to make short work of the target in 17.4 overs.
Hurricanes, who made their tournament debut alongside Kings tonight, recovered to make 144 for six after Bailey won the toss and decided to put the opposition in.
Glenn Maxwell hit a blistering 43 off just 25 balls against Hobart Hurricanes.
Kings had a disastrous start to their chase with Virender Sehwag caught at third man off Doug Bollinger (2/30) on the very first ball.
The hosts, high on international stars, were expected to chase down the target easily but the Hurricanes bowlers dashed that expectation by making the opposition batsmen uncomfortable through sheer pace.
Wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha (11) joined Manan Vohra at the crease came after Sehwag's failure. He could not handle the serious pace for long and scooped a simple catch to Shoaib Malik at mid-on.
Ben Hilfenhaus (1/30) was equally effective from the other end and took the important wicket of David Miller (0) to leave Kings reeling at 23 for three in the fourth over. The southpaw from South Africa went for the big shots straight away only to be caught at mid-off.
Soon after Vohra's lacklustre innings came to end, making it 51 for four in 7.3 overs.
All Kings' hopes were now pinned on their dangerous overseas player Glenn Maxwell and he did not disappoint.
He instantly made his presence felt in the middle by hammering fellow Australian Bollinger for a straight six. Maxwell, one of the stars of IPL-7, went on to smash four boundaries and another maximum in his blazing knock. The Kings camp knew they will be home if the 'big show' stayed any longer.
His sudden departure however tilted the game in favour of Hurricanes again. Maxwell attempted to whack another one out of the park over mid-wicket but ended up edging it to the wicket-keeper off medium pacer Evon Gulbis. The hosts still needed 68 runs off 54 balls.
It was down to the skipper Bailey and Perera to get their team over the line and the experienced pair eventually managed to do that with little difficulty. Their 69-run partnership came off just 41 balls.
Earlier, Kings XI Punjab put up an impressive bowling effort to restrict Hobart Hurricanes to 144 for six.
Left-arm spinner Akshar Patel (1/20) along with seamers Parvinder Awana (1/25) and Thisara Perera (2/17) made life tough for the opposition batsmen. However, a 52-run stand from Travis Birt (28 runs off 21 balls) and Jonathan Wells (28 off 18) helped Hurricanes recover to post a competitive total on a two-paced surface.
Both teams are playing CLT20 for the first time.
Kings were on the money right away after putting the opposition in to bat. The successful opening pair of Ben Dunk and Tim Paine in the Big Bash back home struggled for runs.
Patel, who helped Kings reach the IPL-7 final, provided the first breakthrough by finding the stumps of Hurricanes skipper Paine (11) with a fast straighter one.
Dunk (25)'s dismissal made it 43 for two in eight overs. The southpaw went for a big one off Perera but his high mistimed hit found the safe hands of Glenn Maxwell at deep cover.
Aiden Blizzard (27 off 18) then hit some lusty blows to give the innings a push before getting caught in the deep at a wrong time.
Hurricanes were in further trouble with their experienced foreign recruit Shoaib Malik (14) departing to leave visitors at 78 for four in the 13th over. The Pakistani all-rounder tried to smack leg-spinner Karanveer Singh on one knee but could only manage to find Kings captain Bailey at midwicket.
Birt and Wells then forged a vital stand to bail the team out of trouble.
While Wells enthralled the sparse Mohali crowd with some pure cricketing shots, Birt displayed brute force. Birt took a particular liking to Karanveer, smashing him for two sixes in one over. Just when they were looking more and more dangerous, Wells was run out. Birt fell on the penultimate ball of the innings but his effort was enough to set up a fighting score.
Hobart Hurricanes: 144 for six in 20 overs (Jonathan Wells 28, Travis Birt, Adrian Blizzard 27; Thisara Perera 2/17)
Kings XI Punjab: 146 for five in 17.4 overs (Glenn Maxwell 43, George Bailey 34, Thisara Perera 35)
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