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IPL 2020: Mandeep, Gayle propel KXIP to fifth consecutive win

As we reach closer to the business end of the tournament, the contests have intensified. The Kings XI Punjab are on roll here as they now make it 5 wins in a row and are strong contenders to make the playoffs. With a comfortable win tonight they have now climbed up to 4th spot in the points table.

Manpreet and Gayle
(Image source: IPL twitter)

After winning the toss KXIP elected to field first.

KKR’s top-order once again collapses:

KL Rahul brought on Glenn Maxwell to bowl the first over of the match and plucked the wicket of Nitish Rana who came into this match with a strong score of 81 runs in the previous game against Saturday. Rahul Tripathi and Dinesh Karthik followed him soon after. KKR fans were definitely haunted by the memory of their match against RCB as KKR was 10/3 after over number 2.

Shubman Gill half-century helps KKR post 149 on the board:

After being 10/3. Gill stepped up and kept propelling as wickets kept tumbling at the other end. The opening batsmen was the top scorer for his side as he scored 57 runs off 45 balls. The second-highest scorer was Eoin Morgan who chipped in with a quickfire 40 runs.

Mohammed Shami (3/35), Ravi Bishnoi (2/20), and Chris Jordan (2/25) were the pick of the bowlers for Punjab.

KXIP chase the target down with 8 wickets in hand and 7 balls to spare:

Punjab openers KL Rahul and Mandeep Singh got off to a sedate start with 36 runs off the powerplay. In the 8th over Varun Chakravarthy got the key wicket in the form of KL Rahul. However, the introduction of Chris Gayle changed the match as he attacked both the KKR spinners Varun and Sunil. His positive intent also helped Mandeep Singh who was struggling to find the middle of the bat.

During the course of this chase, both Mandeep and Chris completed 1000 runs for KXIP. Gayle stormed through and score 51 runs off 29 balls. Mandeep Singh on the other hand also scored his 6th half-century in IPL and paid special tribute to his late father whom he lost 3 days ago.

The following is what the two skippers had to say at the post-match presentation:

Eoin Morgan (KKR): Particularly here at Sharjah, you have to counterattack if you lose early wickets, and identify the wicket early. Disappointed with the partnerships, thought we could have scored more (runs). When we were three down, we wanted a partnership going. Around 180-190 would have been a good score, but we kept losing wickets. That’s one of the challenges this year, going from ground to ground. Hopefully, we adjust to the conditions in Dubai. That’s the nature of the tournament, there are not many bad sides. Our fate is in our own hands in the last two games. I think Gill scoring runs and restricting the Kings till the 11th or 12th over, those were the positives.

KL Rahul (KXIP): We decided to play positive cricket. We believed that things can turn around. A complete team performance. Batting looking good, bowling looking good, fielding has always been good. With the bubble, you don’t have your closed ones. The way he (Mandeep) played, it makes everyone emotional. When you have Anil Kumble as the coach, it’s not surprising that we have two leg-spinners. Complete team effort, a lot of effort has goes to the coaches. It was a very hard decision not to play him (Chris). This is the hungriest I have ever seen him. He’s always positive, pushing the youngsters. We have Chris in the dressing room. Just his presence means a lot to us. When we started five games ago, we knew we had to win all the games. One game at a time, keep the confidence going, and keep the energy going.

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