Perera steers Kings past Hurricanes

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NewZNew (Mohali) : Comeback man Thisara Perera and George Bailey weathered a storm of sorts to prevent Hobart Hurricanes from making a landfall at Kings XI Punjab’s home ground in their CLT20 opener. Hobart Hurricanes didn’t even look like a storm, leave alone a cyclone; they just caused a minor disturbance and died a slow death as the match veered toward a tepid end. What was left behind was a comfortable victory for Kings XI Punjab (146/5 in 17.4 overs) by five wickets with 14 balls remaining.

Put into bat, Hobart Hurricanes had gradually strengthened to 144/6 in 20 overs just as Tasmanian Travis Birt 28 (21) and Jonathan Wells 28 (18) tried to capitalize on already marooned Kings. It was Perera, having cooled his heels during the entire IPL-7, who quelled the brewing storm by removing Ben Dunk and then Aiden Blizzard by the end of 12th over. Hurricanes tried to raise a storm through Jonathan Wells and Travis Birt but the total in the end looked far from deadly.

The Hurricanes looked all set to rip apart Kings when Virender Sehwag’s wild slash off the first ball and Wriddhiman Saha’s early dismissal left a trail of destruction.

But Glenn Maxwell (43 in 25 balls) not only picked the debris but helped the team stand up to the storm.

His firebrand cricket left the Tasmanians with little hope. That too was put off by Perera and George Bailey as they anchored the team home with a 68-run partnership. The Sri Lankan’s brute straight-hits, a six and a four, brought out the destructive streak in him. His two fours (one off Evan Gulbis and another off Ben Laughlin towards the end) through the midwicket aptly summed up who was the dominant side today.

What looked like a fairly easy win for Kings could have turned otherwise had Perera not taken hold of the situation after the hosts were reeling at 51/4 after eight overs.

Scoreboard

Hobart Hurricanes: 144/6
(Dunk c Maxwell b Perera 26, Paine b Patel 11, Blizzard c Awana b Perera 27; Malik c Bailey b Karanveer 14, Birt c Karanveer b Awana 28; Wells run out 28, Gulbis not out 6, Hilfenhaus not out 0;
Bowling: Anureet 4-0-25-0, Awana 4-0-25-1, Patel 4-0-20-1, Sehwag 1-0-8-0, Perera 3-0-17-2, Maxwell 1-0-9-0, Karanveer 3-0-37-1)

Kings XI: 146/5 in 17.4 overs
(Sehwag c Boyce b Bollinger 0, Vohra c Hilfenhaus b Laughlin 18, Saha c Malik b Bollinger 11, Miller c Boyce b Hilfenhaus 0, Maxwell c Paine b Gulbis 43, Bailey not out 34, Perera not out 35;
Bowling: Bollinger 4-0-30-2, Hilfenhaus 4-0-30-1, Boyce 3-0-36-0, Laughlin 4-0-26-1, Gulbis 2.4-0-23-1)