Sharjah, October 27: After boosting Kings XI Punjab's IPL 2020 play-off hopes with an eight-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday (October 26), swashbuckling batsman Chris Gayle said that the team decided to continue putting on match-winning performance for Mandeep Singh.
Shubman Gill's fifty helped KKR post a total of 149/9 in their allotted twenty overs. Mohammad Shami took three wickets while Ravi Bishnoi and Chris Jordon picked two wickets each. In response, KXIP chased down the target with eight wickets in hand and seven balls to spare thanks to Mandeep and Gayle, who played knocks of 66 and 51 respectively.
With this win, KXIP moved to the fourth spot in the points table with 12 points to keep hopes of qualifying for the playoffs alive, while KKR has slipped to the fifth spot with as many points.
Mandeep Singh lost his father last week and Gayle said that the entire team has decided to keep on giving match-winning performances for him.
"Mandeep is going through a lot. Last game we said we want to win it for him. So beautiful to watch him in the middle pointing out to his father watching from above. And dad, my dad, I love you," Gayle told host broadcaster Star Sports at the post-match presentation.
Gayle, who didn't get a look in during the first half of the season, has looked in tremendous form and the West Indian said he is feeling good about himself and the team as they chase their first IPL title.
"I have a good feeling about myself and the team. Just capitalising on it, but still, a long way to go. We had two very good spinners, we had to make a quick adjustment. Quickly assess what they were doing. And once you get going, you ease the pressure off Mandeep as well," Gayle said.
Gayle also saw the funny side when asked about his compatriot Sunil Narine, who has got the better of him many times.
"Sunil has got me out so many times. He is the best spinner in the world. So when you get a wicket like this, when it is not turning much, you got to cash in," Gayle said.
The 41-year-old also revealed the demand from the coach was for the seniors to step and he also said the youngsters in the team don't want him to retire from T20 cricket.
"Today the coach asked the senior players, we need to step up in crucial games, I am glad we were able to put my hand up. And the youngsters in the team are telling me, don't retire,"
Gayle and co will continue their quest to seal a play-off spot when they next face Rajasthan Royals on Friday (October 30) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.