Apologised to Rahul: Maxwell on rediscovering his form after poor show for KXIP in IPL 2020
New Zealand and Australia all-rounders, Jimmy Neesham and Glenn Maxwell had a poor run for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the Indian Premier League
New Zealand and Australia all-rounders, Jimmy Neesham and Glenn Maxwell, had a poor run for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, but the two produced match-winning knocks for their respective national teams on Friday.
Neesham, who managed only 19 runs in three innings for KXIP at the recently ended IPL 2020, scored an unbeaten 24-ball 48 as he helped New Zealand chase down West Indies' target of 176 in 16 overs in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) in Auckland.
On the same day, Australia took on India in the first One-Day International (ODI) of their three-match series. Aaron Finch won the toss and opted to bat. The hosts had a brilliant start, courtesy of David Warner and Finch's knocks. However, when it looked like Australia would go for a big score, they lost Finch and Marcus Stoinis in quick successions.
Maxwell walked in to bat at No. 5 when Australia were 271 for 3 and still had nine overs in hand. The KXIP all-rounder scored a quick-fire 19-ball 45, which included three sixes and five fours. Ironically, his KXIP captain KL Rahul kept wickets for India and that led to many memes involving the duo along with Neesham.
The 30-year-old Neesham is famous for his quirky tweets and replies on social media. After New Zealand's five-wicket win over West Indies, Neesham responded to a funny meme featuring Rahul. Maxwell while replying to Neesham said he actually apologised to Rahul while batting during the Sydney match.
India eventually fell short by 66 runs and handed a 1-0 lead to Australia in their three-match series. Steven Smith was named the Player of the Match for his knock of 105 from 66 balls. He reached the 100-run mark off 62 balls, which was not only his 10th ODI ton but also the third fastest century scored by an Australian batsman.
Interestingly, Maxwell (51 balls) holds the record for the fastest ODI hundred by an Aussie ahead of James Faulkner (57 balls). At the same venue of SCG, Maxwell had smashed a 53-ball 102 against Sri Lanka in 2015, while Faulkner set the record against India in Bengaluru in 2013 with his knock of 116 from 73 balls.
Speaking at the post-match interview, Smith said, "I have been searching for something for a couple of months now. About three days ago something just clicked. My rhythm came back, everything came back. Finchy and Davey played very well early on. We could come in and be aggressive. Wasn't thinking too much out there, just seeing the ball and hitting it.
I was seeing the ball well. It was a good surface. I took a few more risks than I would normally. I targeted some bowlers and fortunately, it came off. Nice to contribute to a good win. Need a bit of luck in this game sometimes, nice to ride it today (getting his LBW overturned)."