After registering an eight-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) skipper KL Rahul lauded Chris Gayle, saying that the left-handed West Indies batsman always keeps the dressing room upbeat.
KXIP chased down the target of 150 with eight wickets in hand and seven balls to spare. Mandeep Singh and Chris Gayle played knocks of 66 and 51 respectively.
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.
“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,” Rahul told host broadcaster Star Sports at the post-match presentation.
Mandeep Singh lost his father on Friday and lauding the batsman’s effort to still play for the Punjab franchise, Rahul said: “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.”
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.
For KXIP, Mohammad Shami scalped three wickets while Ravi Bishnoi and Chris Jordon picked two wickets each.
“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,” Rahul said.
“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 hands up at different times. Just happy that everything is coming together. Fingers crossed that we can win a few more games,” he added.
KXIP has now won their last five matches in the ongoing IPL, keeping the hopes of qualifying for the playoffs alive.
Kings XI Punjab will next lock horns against Rajasthan Royals on Friday, October 30 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.