Glenn Maxwell side Kings XI Punjab [KXIP] started their IPL 2017 campaign with a impressive six-wicket victory over RPS [Rising Pune Supergiant] at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on Saturday. Punjab skipper Glenn Maxwell led from the front with a stunning 20-ball 44 as his team easily chased down RPS score of 163 for 6 with an over to spare. Steve Smith side RPS, who had crushed Mumbai Indians in their first game this season, tasted their first defeat under the Australian skipper and will need to regroup quickly before their next IPL (Indian Premier League) game.
Openers Manan Vohra (14) and Hashim Amla (28) gave KXIP a blistering start and after Vohra's departs wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha too came out all guns blazing as the hosts sped to 49 runs in 5 overs.
Leg-spinner Imran Tahir (2/29), like he did versus Mumbai Indians in Pune, turned the match on his head by first dismissing Saha and then getting rid of spinner Axar Patel (24).
Hashim Amla fell to Rahul Chahar and it seemed RPS had found a way back into the contest.
However, any hopes of a RPS bounceback was quickly quashed as Maxwell and David Miller (30 not out) took centre-stage.
The flamboyant batsman Maxwell started off gingerly but soon got into the thick of things with some of his usual dynamic blows. Maxwell hit two fours and four sixes in his innings of 44 not out.
Explosive middle-order batsman Miller, though, didn't find batting as easy as his Australian teammate but stuck around to give his captain company as the duo led KXIP to a thumping victory in their IPL 10 opener.
In the beginning, after the fall of the top order that left Rising Pune Supergiant at 49 for three in the ninth over, all-rounder Ben Stokes (50 off 32 balls) showed why he commanded a Rs 14.5 crore price at the IPL auction. He got good support from former KKR batsman Manoj Tiwary (40 off 23).
Tiwary and aussies all-rounder Daniel Christian, who both remained undefeated, took seamers Mohit Sharma and Sandeep Sharma to the cleaners at the end of the innings, collecting 30 off the last 12 balls.
It appeared to be a tricky surface to bat on after Punjab elected to field.
Sandeep Sharma castled opener Mayank Agarwal with a sharp in-swinger though the shot selection of the opener so early on in the innings was questionable.
It was a historic IPL debut for Tamil Nadu seamer T Natarajan, who took just two balls to strike, having the seasoned opener Ajinkya Rahane (19) holed out at deep cover.
The duty was on in-form skipper Steven Smith (26) to bail his team out of trouble. He hung around for a while before he mistimed one to be caught at deep square leg.
Soon Indian former skipper, MS Dhoni, departed and RPS were down to 71 for four in the 12th over.
Ben Stokes was joined by Tiwary and together they scored 61 off 37 balls to set up a fighting total.