Maxwell masterclass puts Punjab top again

Australia

The Kings XI Punjab regained their place at the top of the IPL standing after beating the Chennai Super Kings by 44 runs on Wednesday, with the latter side level on points but well behind on net run rate, and KXIP with a game in hand.

The Kings XI Punjab regained their place at the top of the IPL standing after beating the Chennai Super Kings by 44 runs on Wednesday, with the latter side level on points but well behind on net run rate, and KXIP with a game in hand.

The Punjab side posted a whopping 231 for four in their 20 overs, with Glenn Maxwell once again adding a big half ton to his record this year, scoring his 90 off just 38 deliveries. Chennai then responded with 187 for six.

Chennai won the toss and MS Dhoni opted to put the Kings in to bat, which initially looked to be a good idea. They lost two early wickets and were 38 for two after the first six overs, losing Virender Sehwag and Mandeep Singh.

But it was Maxwell, who made an 80-plus score for the fourth time in seven games, who made those wickets worthless, as he and David Miller joined forces to demolish Chennai's bowlers, putting on 135 runs together in 10.4 overs.

Maxwell showed no mercy, launching eight massive sixes into the stands, and six fours to boot. His fifty came off just 22 balls, while Miller was the more steady hand at the other end. He made 47 off 32 balls, and fell with the score on 173.

When Maxwell eventually departed, out to Mohit Sharma in the 18th over, the agony didn't end for Chennai. In came George Bailey to smack 40 runs off just 13 balls, including two sixes.

The Super Kings were always going to struggle and they lost Dwayne Smith in the first over, to make matters tougher. The top order all contributed middling scores, with Brendon McCullum and Suresh Raina adding 30-odd each.

But not even Faf du Plessis' half ton could rescue the knock, as he needed more runs than the 52 he got, though he went at a strike rate of 200, so if Mitchell Johnson hadn't claimed his wicket, though could have taken it to the wire.

But as it was, Dhoni's 23 at the death only served to tease, and Punjab saw out the final overs with little to threaten their victory.

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