On his captaincy debut with Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), Glenn Maxwell led by example as he scored 44 runs (not out) to propel his team to the victory against Rising Pune Supergiant in the fourth match of the IPL 2017 on Saturday.
Maxwell shouldered the responsibility as his inspiring knock came for KXIP when they needed the most.
Maxwell and David Miller (30*) remained unbeaten at helm as Punjab registered an exciting win at the Holkar Stadium, Indore.
At top-order, Hashim Amla, Manan Vohra and Wriddhiman Saha managed to contribute just 28, 14 and 13 runs respectively.
All-rounder Axar Patel tried to stabalise Punjab’s innings at middle-order, though was caught and bowled by Imran Tahir (2/29) in the 12th over.
Maxwell and Miller, then, put an unbeaten 79-run partnership to sway the game.
Earlier in Pune’s innings, all-rounder Ben Stokes scored a 50 amid a session highly dominated by KXIP bowlers.
Leading the Punjab pace attack, Sandeep Sharma took two wickets with the support of T Natarajan and Marcus Stoinis, who claimed one wicket each.
Spinners Axar Patel and Swapnil Singh joined in the celebration after dismissing Stokes and MS Dhoni respectively.
Stokes, however, struck three sixes and two boundaries as well in his measured knock to electrify the spectators.
Manoj Tiwary remained unbeaten for 40 runs with Rajat Bhatia (0*) as RPS managed to put a competitive total of 163 runs.
With Stokes, Tiwary put 61 runs for the fifth-wicket, highest partnership stand of the innings.
The 31-year-old Bengal-born batsman hit two sixes and three boundaries in his 23-ball knock, at an impressive strike rate of 173.91.
Supergiant opener Mayank Agarwal was sent back to pavilion for a duck in the first over, followed by Ajinkkya Rahane’s dismissal for 19 runs in the seventh over.
Captain Steve Smith, who struck a spectacular knock of 84 runs (not out) in the last match against Mumbai Indian, failed to impress Indore crowd. He managed to score just 26 runs off 27 balls.
However, the bigger heartbreak was to watch Dhoni losing his wicket cheaply for five runs, that too when he came to bat up the order.