Saha cracks unbeaten fifty to help KXIP to 168/5

Saha cracks unbeaten fifty to help KXIP to 168/5

Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha cracked his maiden half century of the season to help table toppers Kings XI Punjab compile a challenging 168 for five against defending champions Mumbai Indians in their Indian Premier League match here today.

Saha started slowly but gained confidence in the company of the in-form Glenn Maxwell, who slammed a quick-fire 45 in 27 balls, to remain unconquered on 59 in 47 balls, against the winless MI who have lost the first five games in UAE.

Saha, who struck 3 sixes and 4 fours, and Maxwell (2 sixes and 5 fours) resurrected the visitors' innings after the the high-flying Kings XI lost both their openers Virender Sehwag and Cheteshwar Pujara within the power play.

First to depart was Sehwag (1), who was brilliantly run out at the non-striker's end by a smart throw from home team captain Rohit Sharma.

Pujara was looking good for a big score, exhibiting some classy cover drives off the pace bowlers before he chased a wide ball by left arm Corey Anderson and edged to keeper C M Gautam. His 19 contained 4 fours.

The innings was then propped up by a 69-run partnership between Maxwell and Saha with the former easily outscoring the wicketkeeper with some attacking shots.

Maxwell, who came into the game after scoring two 90-plus scores and an innings of 89, started off in his usual aggressive fashion.

The Tasmanian showed his intent against Malinga, pulling the Sri Lankan's short ball nonchalantly over the mid wicket region for his first six. Another boundary enabled Punjab to reach 70 at the end of the 10th over after they were pegged down to 36 for 2 at the end of 6.

Maxwell picked Harbhajan Singh for some rough treatment, stepping out and lofting the off spinner for his second six over long on.

Saha too slog-swept the bowler for a six before Harbhajan exacted revenge by removing Maxwell through a skied catch to long on in the same over.

Saha and Kings XI captain George Bailey then added 37 runs in 24 balls for the fourth wicket before Harbhajan accounted for the latter through a catch at deep square leg to finish with an impressive 2 for 34.

Punjab added 42 runs in the last five overs.

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