Glenn Maxwell was unable to take the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) past the finish line when it took on the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
From needing just 29 runs from four overs with nine wickets in hand, KXIP lost the game by two runs. Half-centuries from skipper K. L. Rahul and his opening partner Mayank Agarwal were not enough as the middle-order misfired big time.
Maxwell came in after 20-year-old Prabhsimran Singh was dismissed for just four off seven balls. However, he wasn’t able to middle the ball during his short stay at the crease.
Needing seven from the last ball bowled by Sunil Narine, Maxwell swung for the fences. But the ball fell just millimetres short off the boundary rope, giving KKR the two-run victory from out of nowhere.
This is Punjab’s sixth loss from seven outings in the 2020 IPL. The team is now making it a habit to throw away games from winning positions, with the middle-order failing to support Rahul and Agarwal.
Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen had suggested that Maxwell should be dropped from the KXIP line-up after his failure against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Dubai on Tuesday.
“This year will be very very difficult for Rahul. He has not got the support of his big players and that one particular big player is Maxwell. Maxwell needs to either be sidelined or he gets one more chance,” he had said at that time.
Maxwell has scored only 58 runs at an average of 14.50 so far this season, and he is set to be replaced by West Indies opener Chris Gayle in KXIP’s next encounter.