Kings XI Punjab won their fifth straight game of IPL 2020 as they beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 8 wickets in Sharjah in match 46. This win takes Punjab to the fourth spot in the points table with a better net-run-rate (-0.049) than KKR. Kolkata drops to the fifth position in the points table although sharding equal points with Punjab. Both teams are just marginally ahead then Rajasthan Royals (10 points) and SRH (8 points). More about the KXIP vs KKR match report in detail below.
Kings XI Punjab won the toss and opted to bowl. Mohammed Shami rattled the KKR top-order in the first two overs leaving Kolkata down at 10 for 3. Shubman Gill (57) and Eoin Morgan (40) then had an 81-run stand in the next seven overs before Morgana was dismissed in the ninth over. KKR never recovered from his loss as they somehow managed to get to 149. The KXIP spinners tightened the screws in the middle-overs, so much so that KKR batters were not able to force the pace. Some lusty blows from Lockie Ferguson (24 off 13) in the final overs helped KKR get to that score. Dinesh Karthik, yet again disappointed as he was dismissed for a duck. For Punjab, Mohammed Shami took three for 35 and Ravi Bishnoi and Chris Jordan took two each.
Kings XI Punjab Topple Kolkata to Fourth Spot in Points Table
Mandeep Singh (66*) and Chris Gayle (51) made light work of the chase as they added 100 runs in between them to make the match a one-sided affair at the end. KL Rahul looked good for his 28 off 25 balls. Mandeep during his knock went past 1000 runs for KXIP. He lost his father on Friday night, just before Punjab’s game against Hyderabad. Today he played an innings to remember defying all odds and personal loss. KXIP batsmen negated the threat of Sunil Narine as he bowled a wicketless spell. Varun Chakravarty, who earned his maiden T20I call up for India, dismissed Rahul. Lockie Ferguson dismissed Chris Gayle in the 19th over of the game, but by then it was too late for KKR.
What Was the Turning Point in the Game?
KKR losing three wickets in the powerplay and not being able to control the middle-overs while defending proved to be the turning point in the game. KKR’s inconsistent performance as a team has hurt them the most in the tournament. This match was just a very evident example of the same.
Chris Gayle was awarded as the Man of the Match for his 51 off 29 balls. This was his second fifty of the season. He has now scored 179 runs from just five games averaging 35 this season and striking at nearly 140.
“We are happy now, still a long way to go. It was important to assess the conditions as quickly as possible. Two very good spinners, it was important to adjust quickly. Once you get the first boundary going, I was always going to get into the zone. I eased a bit of pressure off Mandeep, he batted really well and it was a great partnership” said the Universe Boss after his 30th IPL fifty.
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