IPL 2020: Gayle, Mandeep propel Kings XI Punjab to fourth spot
A gritty Mandeep Singh (56-ball 66 not out) and peerless Chris Gayle (29-ball 51) shared a 100-run partnership to drive Punjab home with an eight-wicket victory over Kolkata.
With the carrot of a playoff spot dangling in front, Kings XI Punjab clinched their fifth win on the bounce to dislodge Kolkata Knight Riders from the fourth spot in the Indian Premier League points table.
A gritty Mandeep Singh (56-ball 66 not out) and peerless Chris Gayle (29-ball 51) shared a 100-run partnership to drive Punjab home with an eight-wicket victory over Kolkata. With 12 points, Punjab entered the ‘safe zone’ bracket of top four teams and Kolkata slipped to fifth place.
In a crucial encounter at the Sharjah International Cricket Stadium, Punjab skipper KL Rahul opted to restrict Kolkata to a modest score and knock off the target with enough balls to spare and boost the net run rate. And the Punjabis implemented their game plan to perfection. Bowlers Mohammed Shami (3 for 35) and spin combo of Ravi Bishnoi (2 for 20) and Murugan Ashwin (1 for 27) did enough damage to restrict Kolkata to 149/9 – this edition’s second lowest target set in Sharjah.
In reply, a defiant Mandeep, who had lost his father on Saturday, marshalled the chase. Joined by Rahul, the pair took time to settle and absorbed early pressure. They rotated strikes, and later smoked boundaries and sixes off Prasidh Krishna and Pat Cummins. However, spinner Varun Chakravarthy trapped Rahul (25-ball 28) to end a solid 47-run opening partnership.
Gayle walked in, took just three balls to get going with consecutive sixes off Chakravarthy, and then two against Sunil Narine. Mandeep, meanwhile, went after Lockie Ferguson and Krishna as Punjab’s 100 was up inside 14 overs.
The Jalandhar lad soon got to his half-century off 49 balls and looked up to the skies paying tribute to his late father. Emotions seemed to run high and in the very next over, Gayle yanked Ferguson for back-to-back four and six to make it under run a ball game. The ‘Universal Boss’ too reached his fifty but failed to finish as he was felled by Ferguson. Punjab kept their cool to ease to a big win with seven balls to spare.
Earlier, Punjab started well as Glenn Maxwell had Nitish Rana (0) top edge caught by Gayle. Shami snared Rahul Tripathi (7) and Dinesh Karthik (0) as Kolkata were in a spot at 10/3 after just two overs.
But then Shubman Gill and Eoin Morgan prevented further damage with a powerful counter-attack filled with maximums and boundaries off Shami, Arshdeep Singh, and spinners Maxwell and Murugan. The duo bashed away 21 runs off an otherwise miserly Shami.
The Kolkata pair managed to wrest back momentum raising 80 by eighth over. But spinner Bishnoi applied brakes on a resolute 81-run partnership with the scalp of Morgan (25-ball 40). Chris Jordan knocked Narine (6) to make it 101/5 after 11 overs. Gill worked his way to a 36-ball half-century.
Punjab spinners pressed on in the middle overs. Murugan removed Kamlesh Nagarkoti (6) and Bishnoi trapped Pat Cummins (1).
Kolkata struggled at 114/7 under 16 overs. Ferguson hit some lusty blows. But Shami returned to snare Gill and ended the quick 22-run stand with Ferguson (22). Jordan bowled Varun Chakravarthy (2) as Punjab restricted Kolkata to 149.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
Shubman Gill c Pooran b Shami 57
N Rana c Gayle b Maxwell 0
R Tripathi c Rahul b Shami 7
K Karthik c Rahul b Shami 0
E Morgan c Ashwin b Bishnoi 40
S Narine b Jordan 6
K Nagarkoti b Ashwin 6
P Cummins lbw b Bishnoi 1
L Ferguson not out 24
C Varun b Jordan 2
M Krishna not out 0
Extras: (lb 3, w 3) 6
Total: (9 wkts, 20 overs) 149
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Nitish Rana, 0.2 ov), 2-10 (Rahul Tripathi, 1.4 ov), 3-10 (Dinesh Karthik, 1.6 ov), 4-91 (Eoin Morgan, 9.5 ov), 5-101 (Sunil Narine, 10.6 ov), 6-113 (Kamlesh Nagarkoti, 14.2 ov), 7-114 (Pat Cummins, 15.4 ov), 8-136 (Shubman Gill, 18.3 ov), 9-149 (Varun Chakravarthy, 19.5 ov)
Bowling: G Maxwell 2-0-21-1; Mohammed Shami 4-0-35-3; Arshdeep Singh 2-0-18-0; M Ashwin 4-0-27-1; C Jordan 4-0-25-2; Ravi Bishnoi 4-1-20-2
KINGS XI PUNJAB
K Rahul lbw b Varun 28
Mandeep Singh not out 66
C Gayle c Krishna b Ferguson 51
N Pooran not out 2
Extras: (lb 2, w 1) 3
Total: (2 wkts, 18.5 overs) 150
Fall of wickets: 1-47 (KL Rahul, 7.6 ov), 2-147 (Chris Gayle, 18.1 ov)
Bowling: P Cummins 4-0-31-0; M Prasidh Krishna 3-0-24-0; C Varun 4-0-34-1; S Narine 4-0-27-0; L Ferguson 3.5-0-32-1
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