GLENN Maxwell has given Hampshire fans another taste of what to expect when he returns to the Ageas Bowl – with his best innings yet at this year’s Indian Premier League.

The 25-year-old continued his astonishing IPL exploits by hammering 90 from only 38 balls as Kings XI Punjab beat the Chennai Super Kings.

Maxwell struck six fours and an outrageous EIGHT sixes (only Chris Gayle and Kevin Pietersen have hit more in an IPL innings) in the Barabati Stadium, Cuttack. He now has 435 runs in the tournament at an average of 62 and, most impressively, at an incredible strike-rate of 203.27 runs per 100 balls, having begun the tournament by twice scoring 95 from 43 balls, either side of a 45-ball 89. Former Hampshire batsman George Bailey, the Kings XI captain, followed Maxwell’s latest blast with an IPL-best 40 not out from only 13 balls as his side posted 231-4.

They ensured Kings XI won their sixth game in seven matches to go level on points with Chennai at the top of the IPL table, with a game in hand. If Maxwell fires his franchise to the IPL final, as appears likely, he will probably miss the first four of Hampshire’s 14 T20 Blast group games and play the first game of his second spell against Kent on June 5.

Hampshire begin their campaign at home to Glamorgan next Friday and are scheduled to play back-to-back warm-up games against Dorset at Dean Park today, the county’s first game at their former outground since 1998.

Meanwhile, Hampshire drew their three-day friendly against Cardiff UCCE on the Ageas Bowl’s Nursery Ground.

Hampshire declared on 212-3, having resumed on 201-3 following back-to-back centuries for Lewis McManus.

Stumps were drawn when Cardiff reached 165-4, still 257 behind. David Balcombe (2-34) enjoyed playing on a wicket with more life than the main square, taking wickets in his first two overs with the new ball before finishing with match figures of 7-83.

Danny Briggs also impressed, taking a wicket during seven very tidy overs.

Despite not having an LV County Championship match this week, Hampshire received a promotion boost with pre-season favourites Surrey losing by eight wickets to Kent at Canterbury. They remain second after the latest round of matches, six points behind Worcestershire with a quarter of the Championship season already gone.