Mandeep Singh and Chris Gayle played knocks of 66 and 51 respectively as Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) defeated Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by eight wickets here at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday. With this win, KXIP has moved to the fourth spot in the points table with 12 points while KKR has slipped to the fifth spot with as many points.
Chasing 150, KXIP got off to a steady start as openers KL Rahul and Mandeep Singh put on 36 runs inside the first six overs. However, KKR came back strongly in the eighth over as Varun Chakravarthy dismissed KL Rahul (28), reducing KXIP to 47/1.
Chris Gayle then joined Mandeep in the middle and the duo did not let the momentum slip for KXIP. Both batsmen put together a partnership of 100 runs, taking KXIP closer to victory. With 3 runs away from the target, Gayle (51) was dismissed by Lockie Ferguson in the penultimate over.
In the end, KXIP won the match by eight wickets with seven balls to spare. Mandeep Singh and Nicholas Pooran remained unbeaten for KXIP on 66 and 2 respectively. Earlier, Shubman Gill played a knock of 57 runs as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) posted a total of 149/9 in the allotted twenty overs.
Sent into bat first, KKR got off to the worst start possible as the side lost its opener Nitish Rana (0) on the second ball of the innings as he was sent back to the pavilion by Glenn Maxwell. In the very next over, Mohammad Shami provided two more breakthroughs as he dismissed Rahul Tripathi (7) and Dinesh Karthik (0), reducing KKR to 10/3.
Skipper Eoin Morgan then joined Shubman Gill in the middle and the duo stitched together a counter-attacking partnership, putting KXIP bowlers under immense pressure. The duo put on 81 runs for the fourth wicket, but KXIP came back strongly as Ravi Bishnoi dismissed Morgan (40) in the 10th over, reducing KKR to 91/4.
Sunil Narine (6) failed to repeat his heroics from the last match against Delhi Capitals and he was clean bowled by Chris Jordon in the 11th over, reducing KKR to 101/5. Kamlesh Nagarkoti (6) and Pat Cummins (1) also failed to impress with the bat and as a result, KKR was reduced to 114/7 in the 16th over.
In the final three overs, KKR failed to hit big shots consistently and as a result, the side was restricted to under the 150-run mark. For KXIP, Mohammad Shami scalped three wickets while Ravi Bishnoi and Chris Jordon picked two wickets each. Lockie Ferguson remained unbeaten on 24 for KKR.
Brief Scores: Kings XI Punjab 150/2 (Mandeep Singh 66*, Chris Gayle 51, Varun Chakravarthy 1-34) defeat Kolkata Knight Riders 149/9 (Shubman Gill 57, Eoin Morgan 40, Mohammad Shami 3-35) by eight wickets. (ANI)