Kings XI Punjab scripted their first win in IPL 2016, defeating MS Dhoni's Rising Pune Supergiants by six wickets at PCA Stadium in Mohali on Sunday. Kings XI openers -- Murali Vijay and Manan Vohra -- played an important role with the bat, as David Miller's side scored 153 runs to win in 18.4 overs.
Though the openers did their job, providing a solid base with a partnership of 97 runs for the first wicket, the middle order had to finish the innings. Maxwell played a cameo, scoring 14-ball 32 to defeat RPS.
After winning the toss and deciding to bat, Rising Pune Supergiants did not get off to a brilliant start, losing Ajinkya Rahane's wicket in the third over. Faf Du Plessis and Kevin Pietersen were involved in a decent partnership of 55 runs for the second wicket, but the Englishman got out for 15 runs.
Dhoni decided to promote Thisara Perera to up the ante, but it did not work as the left-hander failed to get into his rhythm, scoring eight runs from nine balls. Though they were 76 for three, Du Plessis was scoring at a good rate at the other end and he just needed someone to support him and score runs as well.
Things began to improve as Steve Smith provided good support to Du Plessis, as the Australia skipper scored runs all-round the wicket. However, Smith lost his wicket in the 18th over after scoring 38 runs from 26 balls and Du Plessis, who top-scored with 67 runs, also got out in the last over. Du Plessis' innings comprised eight fours.
Mohit Sharma bowled brilliantly in the 20th over, dismissing Du Plessis and Dhoni. Mohit gave three runs only in the over, and RPS managed a total of 152 runs in their 20 overs.
With the pitch in Mohali said to be batting-friendly, RPS had to take some early wickets as the visitors had a solid batting line-up. But, Kings XI openers looked in complete control as they played beautiful shots during the Powerplay. They scored 50 runs in the first six overs, which provided a perfect base for Kings XI batsmen to chase the score.
Vohra and Vijay have been brilliant in IPL 2016, and they continued their good form against Dhoni's team as well. They were playing attractive strokes against both the spinners and seamers. The pair hit eight boundaries and a six in the first 10 overs, scoring 71 runs.
However, Vohra lost his wicket, scoring 51 runs. He had already done his job before Ankit Sharma trapped him leg before in the 13th over. RPS sprung back into the game as Murugan Ashwin took two wickets in the 15th over, dismissing Shaun Marsh and Vijay. The opener top-scored with 53 runs.
The 15th over spiced up the game with Kings XI requiring 41 runs from 30 balls, but Murugan Ashwin scalped another wicket in the 17th over, to make matters interesting.
However a late flourish from Maxwell helped Kings XI collect their first points in IPL 2016.Maxwell scored 32 runs, and his innings comprised three fours and two sixes.