Punjab’s deep batting prevents defeat

The Kings XI Punjab had to rely on their middle order to get the win against the Hobart Hurricanes in their Champions League T20 opener, but romped home with five wickets in hand and 14 balls to spare.

The Australians recorded a middling 144 for six in their 20 overs in Mohali, before the home side replicated their IPL form as Glenn Maxwell found his feet again and top-scored with 43. Punjab made 146 for five.

KXIP won the toss and chose to bowl first, as chasing well got them to the IPL final earlier in the year. Their bowlers, despite missing Mitchell Johnson, did a good job of keeping the big hitting down.

No Hurricanes batsman managed to score more than 30, though most got at least 20, which ensured a defendable score. TRavis Birt and Jonathan Wells both made 28, the top scores, while Thisara Perera took two wickets.

The chase did not get off to a good start though, as KXIP faltered at the top. Virender Sehwag was out for a duck, and so was David Miller, and at one point they were on 51 for four.

But then Maxwell and fellow Aussie George Bailey rescued the knock, with Maxwell hitting his 43 off 25 balls all before the 11th over was up. He was removed by Evan Gulbis, while Doug Bollinger had taken two of the earlier scalps.

This left Bailey and Thisara to see the side home, and they did so with ease, as Bailey recorded 34 not out, and Thisara 35 not out.