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IPL: ‘Explosive’ Glenn Maxwell hailed by Kings XI Punjab skipper George Bailey

Abu Dhabi: Australian Glenn Maxwell underlined his credentials as a big-match player by leading Kings XI Punjab to a sensational six wicket victory in the Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 against two-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Shaikh Zayed Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Having set a daunting target of 206 for win, few gave Punjab any chance to win, but Maxwell’s swashbuckling batting display of 95 off 43 balls was enough to stun Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men.

He was well supported by David Miller, who scored 54 off 37 balls and took over once Maxwell was dismissed by Dwayne Smith. But by then, the run rate was well under control and all that Punjab needed to do was bat sensibly to get home.

“Maxwell has been in great touch. What we are getting from Maxwell at this moment is consistency and that’s probably the greatest quality in a T20 batsman because his explosiveness is unbelievable and obviously when it come off, we are going to win many games. The more often he does that, the greater it will be for Punjab,” said Bailey in the post-match press briefing.

Despite winning the match with seven balls to spare, Bailey felt that his bowlers need to be lot more consistent.

“We have to lift the bowling and fielding a little bit as we know this is not going to happen every day. If it happens like this every time, then we are happy but we have to improve on our bowling,” added Bailey, who along with Miller remained unbeaten on 17.

Speaking about the wicket, Bailey said: “I’m not sure what to expect from these wickets and I know lot of teams are keeping a close watch. How it played in the afternoon, it feels quite good. It might zip around in the night. I get an impression is that there is a big ground to defend and that leave plenty of gaps. That’s where we can hit twos and fours.”

Chennai captain felt his bowlers should have done better after posting such a big total.

“When you score 200, you have to remember the opposition has every chance of scoring it as well. It was a fantastic wicket, they batted really well. We should have done better with the ball,” said Dhoni, who was a bowler short after Dwayne Bravo left the field with an injury.

“Bravo was not fit to bowl today; we played him as a batsman, so we were a bowler short. Our batsmen did their job, but our bowlers should have had different plans for different individuals,” added Dhoni.

“We need to bowl in the right areas. The margin of error is very small. Overall it will be difficult for the bowlers. There’s not much spin. The game was down to the batsman. We did well, but they beat us fair and square.”