Bengaluru, Oct. 26: Chris Gayle and Mandeep Singh stitched together a 100-run partnership to guide the Kings XI Punjab to a comfortable eight-wicket win over the Kolkata Knight Riders in their must-win Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday.
While Gayle scored a quickfire 51 off 29, Mandeep played an unbeaten 66 off 56 to help the Punjab team chase down the target with seven balls to spare.
Mandeep, who is playing in the opener’s slot for the Punjab team with Mayank Agarwal out due to injury, played a special knock on the day. The cricketer, who lost his father a couple of days ago, stayed back to continue playing for the side. And on Monday, after bringing up his half-century, the opener dedicated his innings to his late father.
Following Punjab’s important win Mandeep dedicated his innings to his father. Speaking after the match at the post-match presentation ceremony, Mandeep said, "This was very special. My father always used to tell me you should remain not out in the game. This one is for him. Even if I scored a double hundred or a hundred, he used to ask me, 'Why did you go out?'.”
Mandeep who got off to a slow start said he chose to play the slower innings, while skipper Rahul picked up the boundaries at the other end. Opening up about their chase, Mandeep said, “My role was to score quicker, but I wasn't comfortable doing it. So I told Rahul if I play my natural game, I can see this through. So he was okay with me taking my time and he went after the bowling.”
Meanwhile, the 41-year-old Chris Gayle once again played an entertaining match-winning knock. Praising his teammate, Mandeep said that Gayle should never retire. “I just told Chris he should never retire. He is the World Boss. He is too good," signed off Mandeep.
With the win the KXIP have climbed to the fourth spot on the table.