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Batsmen clinch it for Kings XI once again

Glenn Maxwell on way to 43, on Wednesday

Hyderabad: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) once again showed their batting prowess as the table-toppers chased down another 200-plus run target to comfortably beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets in an IPL match, here, on Wednesday.

Chasing 206 for victory, the KXIP top-order played fluently to chase down their second 200-plus run chase in this IPL with eight balls to spare at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

KXIP batsmen came out with an attacking approach. And despite losing Virender Sehwag (4) off the second ball of the innings, they didn’t change their attitude.

Wriddhiman Saha (54 off 26 balls) and Manan Vohra (47) held the innings together and stitched a 91-run second-wicket partnership to provide a solid platform for the big chase.

Wriddhiman led the assault as he dispatched the bowlers with disdain. The duo got 20 runs from the sixth over and took their side to 86 after the Powerplay.

Wriddhiman though ran out of steam when Karn Sharma got him stumped with KXIP’s score on 95 off 7.1 overs. However, the leg-spinner’s joy was short-lived as Glenn Maxwell came to the crease and belted him for three sixes in the same over. In the process, KXIP brought up the fastest hundred in the IPL.

Vohra was unlucky to be run out while backing off at the non-striker’s end. Maxwell, though, went on at a brisk pace. He got a reprieve when he was caught off a Amit Mishra no ball.

In blistering form, Maxwell continued to hit fours and sixes as KXIP reached 150 in 12 overs.

Mishra finally got his revenge when Maxwell (43 off 22 balls) tried to come down the crease and hit the leggie over long-off. He could only find Dale Steyn’s safe pair of hands.

KXIP skipper George Bailey hit two sixes and two fours in Dale Steyn’s final over to make the task look easy. KXIP finally won the game with eight balls to spare with Bailey hitting the winning runs —a six — off Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Bailey (35 not out) and Miller 24 (not out) managed an unbeaten 52-run stand to disappoint the home crowd.

Earlier wicketkeeper-batsman Naman Ojha bludgeoned his way to an unbeaten 36-ball 79.

Put into bat, openers Shikhar Dhawan and Aaron Finch started on a cautious note but soon gained momentum at the end of the Powerplay.

After a slow but steady start, Dhawan let it rip against Sandeep Sharma in the fifth over, hitting the medium-pacer for 26 runs with four fours and a six.

The left-handed batsman started with a boundary off a no ball and then went on to score three more boundaries while the six was hit through the mid-wicket region. A hapless Sandeep could do little to prevent Dhawan from scoring.

Sandeep was taken off the attack as Bailey juggled with his bowling options to check the run-flow.

Off-spinner Shivam Sharma provided the first breakthrough by cleaning up Finch for 20, which ended a 65-run opening stand.

The Aussie opener tried to cut a delivery from the Delhi youngster but misjudged the line to be bowled.

While new-man Naman found form, walloping Shivam for a six over long-on, Shikhar (45) was denied his fifty by Rishi Dhawan.

The southpaw got a sliding delivery on the leg-side, which he tried to whip off his hips only to gift a catch to Shivam at short-fine leg.

Joined in by David Warner, Naman continued the onslaught, hitting sixes and boundaries in every over.

The hard-hitting Warner soon overtook Naman’s strike-rate — with fours and sixes galore — as the duo stitched 81 runs for the third wicket.

(PTI)