Maxwell gets Kings XI home after Stokes half-century

Ross Houston
April 10, 2017

Meanwhile, Kings XI Punjab will come into the match with a lot of confidence after a comfortable victory over Rising Pune Supergiant in their opening match.

South African veteran Hashim Amla held firm at one end, scoring nearly at a run-a-ball rate and managing to clear the fence on three occasions. They were so good that an outstanding fifth-wicket partnership between Ben Stokes and Manoj Tiwary - 61 runs off 37 balls with only two dots - ended up in vain.

Already without strokeful opener K.L. Rahul for the entire season and its charismatic skipper Virat Kohli for the first few games, RCB is sweating over the fitness of its influential batsman AB de Villiers, who is nursing a sore back.

That one wicket never came.

England Test vice-captain Stokes, the most expensive player from overseas to play in the IPL, scored exactly 50 off just 32 balls in only his second game in the tournament as Pune posted 163-6 in Indore. Kings XI made short work of the 164-run target as Maxwell and David Miller (30 n.o off 27 balls) took them home with an over to spare. He played the percentages well, feeding his knock with 22 singles and picked the left-arm spinners to hit.

FOUR! Hammered by Maxwell for a boundary. KIXP 63/2 after eight overs, still require 102 runs to win. Saha's stumps were broken and pinch-hitter Axar Patel was caught and bowled.

It appeared to be a tricky surface to bat on after Kings XI opted to field. It was also the first time in almost two years that a side managed to defend a total of less than 200 while batting first in Bangalore. But when Rahane was dropped on just four by Manan Vohra, heads could have easily lowered.

Maxwell, Lynn, Smith and the rest of the Australian contingent will be hoping for further success of the coming weeks of the world's biggest T20 tournament.

Imran Tahir was again excellent picking up 2 for 29 in his four overs to be the pick of the RPS bowlers.

Ashok Dinda and Chahar were all over the place against MI and made RPS seem exposed, especially during the death overs.

Save the best for the last was what Kings XI Punjab captain Glenn Maxwell must have thought before their chase against Rising Pune Supergiants began. Rahane, Smith and Stokes have been among runs but Pune would be anxious about the form of opener Mayank Agarwal and Dhoni in particular.

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