KKR vs KXIP, IPL 2020: Revitalised Kings’ fifth win on the trot lifts them to fourth
KXIP vs KKR, IPL 2020 result: After a spirited bowling effort restricts KKR to 149 for nine, Mandeep Singh and Chris Gayle power the chase; Gill-Morgan counterattack proves insufficient.
Kings XI Punjab has now gone on to win five IPL 2020 games in a row.
When Mandeep Singh reached a well-deserved fifty, he raised his bat towards the sky. He was dedicating the knock to his father Hardev Singh, who passed away on Friday.
His measured 66 not out (56b, 8x4, 2x6) and Chris Gayle's swashbuckling 51 (29b, 2x4, 5x6) — the pair added 100 for the second wicket — guided Kings XI Punjab to a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday.
A target of 150 for a formidable batting line-up on a ground with small boundaries was never going to be enough. KXIP romped home with seven balls to spare.
It was the fifth win in a row for K.L. Rahul's men. What a turnaround it has been for them; two weeks ago, they were placed right at the bottom.
As it happened
They are playing so well now that not even the absence of Mayank Agarwal, the edition’s fifth-highest scorer with 398 runs, has affected them. They have moved up to fourth on the table with 12 points, the same as KKR, which has an inferior run-rate.
The win was set up by a spirited effort from the KXIP bowlers, who justified their captain's decision to field first. KKR was reduced to 10 for three in the second over.
Though Shubman Gill 57 (45b, 3x4, 4x6) and captain Eoin Morgan (40, 25b, 5x4, 2x6) rallied with an 81-run stand for the fourth wicket, another collapse, in the lower-middle order, meant the side could not end up with enough runs on the board for the bowlers to make a match of it.
KKR had begun disastrously, with Nitish Rana, the hero in the last match, choosing to sweep the first ball he received. He ended up giving Gayle a comfortable catch at short fine-leg and bowler Glenn Maxwell a reason to smile.
The second over proved even more dramatic, as Mohammed Shami struck twice within the space of three balls. Both Rahul Tripathi and Dinesh Kathik were forced to edge behind the stumps. Although the latter reviewed the decision, it was in vain. This wasn't going to be KKR's night.