The 46th match of the 13th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) was played between Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab in Sharjah in which KL Rahul led side won the match by 8 wickets.
Kings XI Punjab won the toss and offered KKR to bat first. Batting first, Kolkata Knight Riders posted 149 for 9 in the allotted 20 overs. Chasing 150 in the second innings, Kings XI Punjab achieved the target with ease in just 18.5 overs and won the match by 8 wickets.
Kolkata Knight Riders got off to bat first after losing the toss and the first blow came on the second ball of the innings when Nitish Rana was caught by Chris Gayle off Glenn Maxwell without opening the account. The second blow to the team was given in the very next over by Mohammed Shami, who got Rahul Tripathi caught by KL Rahul for 7.
KKR was also dealt the third blow by Mohammed Shami, who sent Dinesh Karthik to the pavilion without opening the account. After this, a good partnership was seen between captain Eoin Morgan and Shubman Gill. The duo added more than 80 runs, but then Morgan was caught out by Murugan Ashwin for 40 runs off 25 balls off Ravi Bishnoi.
Kolkata’s fifth wicket fell as Sunil Narine, who was bowled by Chris Jordan for 6 runs. Kamlesh Nagerkoti was sent back by Murugan Ashwin, while Pat Cummins was dismissed by Ravi Bishnoi for 1.
On the other hand, for Kings XI Punjab, Mandeep Singh and Chris Gayle played a match-winning innings for Punjab. While Mandeep smashed 66 off 56 balls with the help of 8 fours and 2 sixes and remained unbeaten, Gayle, at the same time smashed 51 off 29 balls with the help of 2 fours and 5 sixes.
Winning Skipper, KL Rahul’s Reaction
“I am very happy. The whole team will be. we collectively decided to go out there and play positive cricket, and things can turn around. It is different persons putting their hand up at different times. Just happy that everything is coming together. Fingers crossed that we can win a few more games. The kind of toughness Mandeep has shown has rubbed on to other ways. Everybody is emotional. Just to put his hand up, just to be there, just to finish off the game, makes us so proud. When we have Anil Kumble as a coach, it is no surprise we are playing two legspinners. He always had that in mind. He has worked really really hard on them. And not just on them, but also those who haven’t played yet. Complete team effort and a lot of credit should go to the coaches. Chris, it was a very hard decision not to play him, He is the hungriest I have seen in the last seven-eight years playing for different franchises. Running ones and twos. And you know how he keeps the dressing room upbeat. To do it over and over again, year after year… We will enjoy tonight’s victory, enjoy tomorrow, and then start thinking about the next game. One game at a time.”
Losing skipper, Eoin Morgan’s Reaction
“Particularly here in Sharjah you have to counterattack if you lose wickets early. Disappointing our partnership couldn’t get more. When we were three down, it was about getting a partnership. We thought 185-190 would have kept us in the game, wouldn’t have been a match-winning total by any stretch. But we kept losing wickets. That’s the nature of the tournament. There aren’t many bad sides. Going into the last two, our fate is in our hands. If we win those two, we should be in a reasonably good position.”
Player of the Match, Chris Gayle’s Reaction:
“I have been doing some off-field training with the trainer when I wasn’t playing. Hitting the gym (laughs). You have to have a good feeling. 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. Sunil has got me out so many teams. You got to make the best use of it because the wicket wasn’t suiting for him. The last game, we told that we wanted to win it for him (Mandeep). Really happy for him. We needed some sort of momentum to get that will power. We need senior players to step up. Glad that I and Mandeep put our hands up.”