(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The championship continued with its own brand of fanfare and thrills this time at the sharjah cricket stadium where the spice added to the electric atmosphere by maxwell (89 from 45 balls containing eight 4s and six 6s) and miller ? 51 n.
david miller and cheteshwar pujara from kings xi punjab celebrating after winning the match between rajasthan royals v kings xi punjab at sharjah cricket stadium on sunday – kt photo by m.sajjad
kings xi punjab (kxip) stalwarts — batting dynamite glenn maxwell and the dashing southpaw david miller — blew rajasthan royals (rr) out of the ground on easter sunday night in another round of highly absorbing cricket in pepsi ipl 2014.
the championship continued with its own brand of fanfare and thrills this time at the sharjah cricket stadium where the spice added to the electric atmosphere by maxwell (89 from 45 balls containing eight 4s and six 6s) and miller — 51 n.o. in 19 balls with six 6s — was quite unbelievable.
kxip’s virender sehwag and wriddhiman saha perished early before the maxwell and miller acts began. the late night fireworks came about after kxip had allowed rr help themselves to a healthy 191-5 in the first innings.
kxip finished on a high in 18.4 overs as opener cheteshwar pujara nursed and watched from one end with a 38-ball 40.
the sharjah wicket was bald and shinny as ever the standard package on offer here.
kxip had first match hero glenn maxwell in ferocious form again as he and traditional cricket exponent and opener cheteshwar pujara rocketed the mohali team to 66-2 in 9 overs.
number four batter maxwell’s 89 from 45 balls containing eight 4s and six 6s was sply mind blowing stuff after he was dropped early by pravin tambe who fumbled with a straight forward skier.
when maxi form glenn who made his international limited overs debut here in the uae in 2012 against afghanistan and pakistan left caught at long on by steven smith off kane richardson it brought a huge sigh of relief to the rr fans who had gathered in big numbers. but they were in for a further jolt as miller went about his job from where he and maxwell left abu dhai after demolishing the chennai super kings during the weekend double header.
rr put up a big 191-5 from their share of overs to cast doubts in the punjab camp about their ability to stand up to the challenging task especially when all-rounder stuart binny brought off a superb diving catch off medium pacer dhawal kulkarni (4-50) to dismiss the dangerous sehwag after running in from the boundary line at deep cover (1-5).
kulkarni turned on his fielding skills at deep fine leg to latch on to a skier from saha off james faulkner in the third over to pin his side pin kxip down to 12-2.
one-down sanju samson (32-ball 52) of rr started with a flourish with a four and a six in classical fashion. the timing was near perfect for the thiruvananthapuram youngster.
even mitchell johnson was not spared as the tearaway left arm quickie sporting a trimmed drooper for pepsi ipl 2014 was roughed up by nayyar.
the brakes were applied again by kxip when the bespectacled kartik trapped nayyar.
samson and shane watson who meanwhile moved into a quick 27 raised the three figure in the 12th over. in no time watson raced to his 50 in 29 balls before patel hit his castle. the well executed game plan without major hiccups saw rr register 150 in 97.