David Miller’s Kings XI cruised to their first win in three, beating the Pune Supergiants by six wickets on Sunday afternoon.
Coming off a humiliating eight-wicket loss to the Daredevils, Miller owes the success to a backbreaking opening partnership of 97 from Manan Vohra (51 off 33) and Murali Vijay, who went on to 53 off 49, and a match-winning 24 off 11 balls from Glenn Maxwell. He stepped up when four wickets had gone down for 23 runs off 24 balls.
The Kings were never really under pressure for Miller’s bowlers had done well to restrict the Supergiants to 152-7.
Within that, Faf du Plessis enhanced his status as a batsman of note in this series by anchoring the innings with a well-struck 67 off 53 balls (8×4) before being caught and bowled by Sharma as he top-edged a slower ball into the sky. He now has 170 runs from his three innings, and leads the sixes-stakes with seven, alongside AB de Villiers.
Steve Smith made a useful contribution of 38 off 26 (5×4), but elsewhere there was little energy as the clatter of wickets halted the momentum. Having gone through the powerplay at 49-1 and been 76-2 at halfway, the Supergiants ought to have been looking at a better total. But the second 10 brought just 76 at the cost of five wickets.
Medium pacers Mohit Sharma and Sandeep Sharma shared five wickets between them for just 46 runs.
Kyle Abbott, brought in for Mitchell Johnson, started well, conceding just 14 from two and grabbing the valuable wicket of Kevin Pietersen (15 off 15), but he came under fire in the closing stages, ending with 38-1 off four.
Photo: BCCI for IPL