Kings XI Punjab raced into the top four of the IPL 2020 and after beating Kolkata Knight Riders by 8 wickets on Monday. KXIP also replaced KKR for the 4th place and make their contention strong for the playoffs this season.
It was the top-order comprising of Mandeep Singh and Chris Gayle who hit their respective half-centuries and took the side to an emphatic victory at Sharjah.
As KKR slipped to the fifth place, the batting woes continues to haunt them at such a critical phase of the tournament.
After winning the toss, KXIP skipper KL Rahul decided to bowl first instead of batting first in the high-scoring Sharjah track. Mohammad Shami was overwhelming against the KKR batsmen as he wrecked their batting lineup alone in the powerplay.
Opener Shubman Gill remained on the crease till the 19th over but only managed to score 57 runs off 45 balls due to the lack of support from the other end.
Eoin Morgan (40) and Lockie Ferguson (24) quick fired in the final overs and managed to take the team total to 149-9 after 20 overs. Chris Jordan and spinner Ravi Bishnoi finished with a couple of wickets on their name with Mohammad Shami leading by taking 3/35.
KXIP had a good start and managed to lose not a single wicket until the 8th over when Varun Chakravarthy celebrated his 1st wicket after dismissing KL Rahul for 28 runs.
Mandeep Singh who opened with Rahul looked composed on the other end and started building a partnership with Chris Gayle.
The duo combined together for a century partnership and took the game home with eight wickets remaining in the hand.
Gayle scored 51 off 29 balls smacking two boundaries and five sixes while Mandeep Singh top-scored on the night with 66 runs off 56 balls.
After this win, KXIP will next face Rajasthan Royals in their next match-up of the tournament on October 30.