Mohali: In a do-or-die match, Glenn Maxwell-led Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) stunned Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 14 runs in Match 49 of Indian Premier League (IPL) played at Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali, Chandigarh on Tuesday. After plenty of fielding blunders against Gujarat Lions in their previous match, KXIP put a determined show in the field against Gautam Gambhir's men.
The highlight of KXIP's ground fielding was the stunning catch by Akshar Patel, where the all-rounder pulled off a blinder to dismiss Robin Uthappa for a duck.
Maxwell was full of praise for his team saying he had asked the boys to pull up the socks as far as fielding was concerned.
"I asked for an improved performance on the field and certainly got that tonight. Axar Patel led by example on the field. I suppose the spinners came into the game, Rahul Tewatia bowled really well," Maxwell said after the match.
Punjab's decision to play three spinners proved to be a masterstroke as Axar, Rahul Tewatia and Swapnil Singh asphyxiated KKR's star-studded batsmen with a disciplined bowling effort.
"As soon as that first ball spun, we realised we could get in a lot of overs from the spinners. We were able to get a couple of wickets in the middle, and kept them quiet till the end," he said.
"We probably left ourselves maybe 10-15 short, but the way we scrapped on the field and the way we bowled, outstanding. They (bowlers) were probably at their calmest, they knew what they wanted to do and executed it well."
With the win against KKR, Punjab have kept their hopes of qualifying for the play-offs alive.
They are currently ranked fifth in the points table after six wins from twelve matches. They need to win their next two matches against Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiant to qualify for the next stage.