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20-Apr-2014 18:05:00 GMT
Punjab v Rajasthan, IPL 7, Sharjah

Maxwell, Miller Helps Kings XI Punjab Outclass Rajasthan Royals

Sharjah : Glenn Maxwell butchered 89 off 45 balls as Kings XI Punjab achieved another big chase against Rajasthan Royals at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

David Miller also completed his fifty in 19 balls with six sixes.

For the second time in as many games, Glenn Maxwell and David Miller starred in a massive chase for KXIP.

Pujara played through the innings, making 40 off 38 balls (3x4) but watched Maxwell combined the destructively innovative with the classical as he made 89 off 45 balls (8x4, 6x6)) and the explosive Miller 51* off 19 balls (6x6) to take the side across the line after RR had set KXIP a more than competitive target of 192 on a track that challenged the bowlers to choose between discipline and variation.

Earlier, when asked to bat first by KXIP skipper George Bailey and aware that KXIP had chased down a 206-run target set by Chennai Super Kings in Abu Dhabi, RR started off with an aggressive intent but none sustained it as long as the youngest player in their ranks, Sanju Samson 52 off 32 balls (3x4, 4x6).

Timing was the hallmark of each of his sixes. His decisive footwork helping him get into position to play the short arm pull, the lofted straight drive, the inside out stroke over extra cover and the slapped stroke to the sight screen. Samson eased into Test match-style batting when Watson took charge at the midway stage after being afforded a life by David Miller.

Ajinkya Rahane was sold a dummy by Abhishek Nayar and was run out. The left-hander stayed a little longer to be able to unleash a delightful straight drive off a Mitchell Johnson no-ball before being deceived by Murali's Kartik's arm ball that arrived later than expected. It was Kartik's sole moment of glory on Sunday as he was carted around for 51 runs.

His inexperienced colleague, Akshar Patel bowled a better line and length with his brand of left-arm spin. The 20-year-old slipped a delivery that held its course past Watson's swishing blade and hit leg-stump. Patel finished his spell with one for 22, terrific figures in the context of the game.

Johnson, who did not look his menacing self, was not spared the treatment in his first two overs. He had Stuart Binny caught at long-on - Miller completing the catch with the cricket ball trapped between his thighs - but more importantly conceded just three runs at a time when RR were looking to sustain the charge.

RR backed Binny by sending him ahead of Steve Smith, who was brought in to replace an unwell Brad Hodge. Binny and Samson fell in successive overs and Smith held centrestage with a 15-ball cameo that got him 27 (5x4).

Despite the win, KXIP will worry about their own attack conceding 397 runs in the first two matches. The team will hope that their lead bowler Johnson will rediscover his relentless attacking skills sooner than later.

Earlier, Kings XI Punjab have won the toss and have opted to field.

One change for both team -- in Punjab Murali Kartik is in for Rishi Dhawan while in Rajasthan Steven Smith in for Brad Hodge.


Rajasthan :
Ajinkya Rahane, Abhishek Nayar, Sanju Samson (wk), Shane Watson (Capt.), Stuart Binny, Steven Smith, Rajat Bhatia, James Faulkner, Kane Richardson, Pravin Tambe, Dhawal Kulkarni

Punjab : Virender Sehwag, Cheteshwar Pujara, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, George Bailey (Capt.), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Akshar Patel, Mitchell Johnson, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Parvinder Awana, Murali Kartik

Brief scores
Rajasthan -
191/5 (Samson 52, Watson 50)
Punjab -  193/3 (Maxwell 89, Miller 51*, Pujara 40*)
Result - Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wickets
Points - Kings XI Punjab 2, Rajasthan Royals

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