Kings XI Punjab made the most of their Champions League T20 debut, topping the Hobart Hurricanes by five wickets in impressive style.
Needing 145 for victory, after the KXIP bowlers restricted Hobart Hurricanes to just 144 for six, the lower middle order came to the fore to help the IPL 2014 runners-up home with 14 balls to spare.
Glenn Maxwell was, yet again, the catalyst in the chase, with the Australian all-rounder striking a 25-ball 43 (4x4, 2x6), before skipper George Bailey (34 n.o., 27b, 5x4) and Thisara Perera (35 n.o., 20b, 5x4, 1x6) – the Sri Lanka also took two wickets in the first innings -- saw the team home with ease.
"I am really happy with my all-round performance," Perera told CLT20's official website after the match. "As an all-rounder, everyone expects from me a performance like this. I think I have done pretty well in this match."
Bailey, calm as ever under pressure, was understandably pretty happy with the end result as Kings XI eventually scampered home despite losing Virender Sehwag in the first ball of the second innings.
"A terrific innings from Maxwell and Perera there, it takes some courage to come out when your team is in a bit of trouble and go for your shots," Bailey said during the presentation ceremony on Thursday. "I think Hobart have a very nice team, they lost today but they can challenge.
"We slotted back in really quickly, not our best game with the bat, but we will get better."
For the Hobart Hurricanes there were a few positives, especially in their bowling at the top, but the Australian side will know 145-odd will never be enough on these batting tracks.
"We realised it was going to be tough coming up against Kings XI Punjab first up," Hobart's Jonathan Wells said. "So it would have been nice to have won, but obviously we didn't.
"I think we can take a bit out of the match. We have got a lot of improving to do. A lot of the guys got starts with the bat and could have gone on. That would definitely be an area I think we will look to improve in the next game."