For a while, the second part of Kings XI Punjab and Hobart Hurricanes match resembled a little bit like the first match of the Champions League. With a modest target of 145 in front of them, KXIP lost 3 wickets for 23 in the fourth over and the fourth for 51 in the eighth. With Bollinger making life difficult for the Punjab batsmen, Glen Maxwell took to the crease. He was KXIP’s mainstay in the IPL 2014 and a lot depended on him to turn the game around. Maxwell took the Hurricanes’ bowlers to task by beginning with a straight-field 6 off Bollinger. Though he couldn’t really emulate the heroic acts of Russel and Doeschate for KKR in their game against CSK, he played a valuable innings regardless. Maxwell departed as the fifth wicket at 77 in the 11th over for a 25-ball 43 and opened the gate for George Bailey and Thisara Perera to finish the task. It became evident that KXIP were gifted with a great depth in their batting as Bailey and Perera took the match to finish with a 5-wicket win for Punjab at their home turf at Mohali.
Earlier, KXIP chose to field after winning the toss and their good bowling and lively fielding didn’t allow the Hobart Hurricane batsmen to score freely. The first five over produced only 17 runs for the loss of captain Tim Paine’s wicket. Paine’s belabored innings of 11 runs off 16 balls ended when he frustratingly tried to crash an Akshar Patel delivery on the offside but as he missed, the ball crashed the stumps instead. After Paine’s departure, Ben Dunk tried to wrest control and dispatched Parvinder Awana three times to the boundary in the sixth over. Dunk took another 8 runs in the seventh over, bowled by Sehwag but when Thisara Perera came to bowl next, he holed out to Glen Maxwell in the deep. Aiden Blizzard and Shoaib Malik took the score to 71, when Blizzard was also claimed by Perera for a well-made 27 off 18 balls. Malik didn’t last long either and lost his wicket in the 13th over with Hurricanes’ score of 78. Travis Birt and Jonathan Wells steadied the boat for the Australians with each of them adding 28 each in good time. But once, Wells was run out in the 18th over, the end of the innings became imminent. KXIP bowlers produced a tight spell at death and allowed just 14 runs off 14 balls.
144/6 at the end of 20 overs cannot be regarded as a match-winning score. For KXIP, Mitchell Johnson’s rib injury brought Lankan Thisara Perera, who proved to be so highly effective that in the end, he walked away with the man-of-the-match award. Perera didn’t play a single match for KXIP in IPL 2014 since their star-studded line-up didn’t permit him any opening. But Johnson’s absence was an opportunity in the Champions League and he grabbed it with both hands.
KXIP lost Sehwag to the first ball as they began chasing 145 for victory. Though the green top at Mohali yielded unpredictable movements off the pitch, Sehwag’s wicket had nothing to do with the pitch or the ball. As is his wont, the veteran opener swung out to Bollinger’s short and wide first ball and a top edge to third man ended his innings. In his next over, Bollinger struck again. This time the speedster had Wriddhiman Saha, who tried to whack him but only found Shoaib Malik at mid-on taking a simple skier. And when David Miller also got out in the 4th over, sighs went out in the stadium. This time it was Hilfenhaus, to whom miller holed out to mid-off and an ordinary 145-run chase began to look difficult at 23/3 in the fourth over. It was at this point that Glen Maxwell made his appearance. Maxwell began with a flat 6 off Bollinger and the Mohali crowd found their voice yet again. After Vohra and Maxwell had added 28 runs, KXIP lost their fourth wicket in the 8th over, when Vohra too fell to an indiscreet stroke, trying to clear the field. Maxwell was joined by his skipper George Bailey and the two of them carried on from here. At the score of 77 in the 11th over, Maxwell’s dismissal looked like making the game even for the two teams. But Bailey found an able partner in Thisara Perera. They began with 18 in 12th over from Boyce and 10 off Bollinger’s next. This greatly eased things for KXIP as they required only 40 off 42 balls. All that the two batsmen needed was to avoid undue risks. They scored 10 off the 17th over and sighting the victory clearly, they finished everything in the 18th over and Mohali erupted in celebration.
Latest posts by R K Gupta (see all)
- Major Athletics Highlights of Year 2017 - January 14, 2018
- Will the Big4 Aura Still Last as We Enter the 2018 Tennis Season - December 31, 2017
- Battle Stories of 2017 Motorsports Heroes Lewis Hamilton & Marc Marquez - December 26, 2017