“M&M” steal the show at Indore: “M & M” – Maxwell and Miller – stitched together a partnership of 79 runs in 8.5 overs to give KXIP their six-wicket victory in their opening game of the iconic tournament against Royal Pune Supergiant (RPS) at Indore.
“It is better to chase here, to know how to pace it and keep wickets in the back end, and go hell for leather,” said KXIP skipper, Maxwell on winning the toss and he proved himself right.
Put into bat, RPS could manage only 163 runs for the loss of 6 wickets in their allotted 20 overs. But for a half-century by Ben Stokes (50, 32b, 2*4, 3*6) scored at a strike rate of 156.25 and an unbeaten 40* runs by Manoj Tiwary, none of the other batsmen could make any meaningful contribution.
KXIP bowlers kept the batsmen completely under check and never ‘let them off the hook.’ Sandeep Sharma was the most successful bowler, picking up 2 wickets, giving away 33 runs in his quota of 4 overs. KXIP skipper used his bowlers diligently and succeeded in restricting the opposition to a small total.
Chasing a modest target of 164 runs, KXIP also did not have a good start. They lost their top four batsmen, Manan Vohra (14), Wriddhiman Saha (14), Hashim Amla (28) and Axar Patel (24) with just 85 runs on the board after 11.1 overs.
They needed to score the remaining 79 runs in 8.5 overs at an asking rate of 9.29 and it was at this juncture, Maxwell and Miller came together and exhibited what they are capable of.
The duo went on the rampage and particularly targeted Daniel Christian (2-0-24-0) and Rajat Bhatia (2-0-20-0).
KXIP reached their target in 19 overs and won the game by 6 wickets and an over to spare.
Maxwell with an unbeaten 44*(20b, 2*4, 4*6) scored at a strike rate of 220.0 and Miller with an unbeaten 30*(27b, 1*4, 2*6) finished the game in style.
Imran Tahir was the most successful bowler for RPS, who claimed 2 of the 4 wickets that fell, giving away 29 runs in 4 overs.
Glenn Maxwell, who also made his ‘captaincy’ debut, was adjudged the Player of the Match.