Think back to Kings XI Punjab’s most successful VIVO Indian Premier League campaign back in 2014, and one would inadvertently be reminiscing the performances of Glenn Maxwell. In his debut season for KXIP, the Australian all-rounder was their leading run scorer and bagged the Man of the Series award.
Maxwell’s finest hour in a KXIP shirt that season was arguably his stellar knock against Chennai Super Kings at Cuttack’s Barabati Stadium, where he scored 90 runs off just 38 balls to help his side do the double over the three-time IPL champions.
"Maxwell batted exceptionally well. He was supported by the other batsmen. They made the most out of it when they got the momentum. Maxwell took on the bowlers. He is someone very different. Maxwell is playing at his best now,” said opposition captain MS Dhoni after the game, in recognition of his match-winning performance.
Having been put in to bat on a belter of a batting surface, KXIP had some starting problems as openers Mandeep Singh and Virender Sehwag were dismissed within the powerplay with the scoring rate marginally above six an over.
But the Chennai Super Kings bowlers had to wait a long time to find any more joy on the day, as Glenn Maxwell and David Miller stitched together a 135 run partnership to put KXIP in the ascendency.
CSK’s spinners felt the worst brunt of the Maxwell-Miller carnage, as the duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin conceded 75 runs in just five overs. Ashwin in particular proved costly, as Maxwell smashed him for four sixes and two fours in the nine balls he faced off the spinner. He followed that up with a six and a four off Ishwar Pandey’s subsequent over.
Glenn Maxwell is in incredible form. Taking the game to a new level. #360 #TheBigShow— Adam Crosthwaite (@AJCrosthwaite) May 7, 2014
Glenn Maxwell definitely brought his A-game to this years IPL. Looks like he really is #TheBigShow.— Ryan Gregson (@RyanGregson25) May 8, 2014
The 16th over also proved to be costly for Chennai, as Dwayne Smith was hit for three sixes in four balls by the Australian all-rounder to put his side firmly in control. Maxwell hit eight sixes and six fours in his blistering innings, before being dismissed by Mohit Sharma in the 18th over.
Maxwell’s carnage however helped Kings XI Punjab set a daunting target of 232 for the Super Kings- the highest team score in that IPL season. In reply, CSK could only manage to score 187 in their twenty overs, giving the team from the North a comprehensive 44 run victory.
Glenn Maxwell performed admirably with the ball as well, picking up the priced wicket of Suresh Raina just when Chennai were looking to build a partnership. The Australian all-rounder was adjudged as the Man of the Match for his brilliant display with the bat as well as ball, finishing with figures of 1/21.
Maxwell had many match-winning knocks that season and subsequently for Kings XI Punjab, but this one was probably a cut above the rest because of his quick scoring rate and ability to nonchalantly pick off some of India’s best bowlers of the time.
That knock was also special as it helped the team to get back to winning ways following a loss in the previous game. Following that, KXIP never let the ball drop as they finished top of the table following the group stage and made it to the finals that year, aided to a large extent by the brilliance of Maxwell.