Kings XI Punjab batsman Chris Gayle stated after their win against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday that the team wanted to win their previous game against the Sunrisers Hyderabad for Mandeep Singh.
Mandeep had lost his father just the day before the encounter against SRH and this had united the entire team to put up a spirited display. KXIP went out and defended a total of just 126 runs and dedicated the win to him.
In the next game, chasing 150 runs to win against KKR, Mandeep scored a brilliant unbeaten 66 off just 56 balls and dedicated the special innings to his late father. Gayle was happy that Mandeep was able to perform despite all the pain that he was going through mentally.
"Mandeep is going through a lot. Last game, we said we want to win it for him (Mandeep). So beautiful to watch him in the middle pointing out to his father watching from above," Chris Gayle said after the game in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Tried to hit as straight as possible and it paid off for me today: Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle was adjudged the man of the match as he hit a brilliant 51 off just 29 balls. Gayle came to bat at a time when things were evenly poised, as KXIP had just lost their skipper and in-form batsman KL Rahul.
However, the Jamaican's fearless batting ensured that KXIP won the game easily in the end. His wonderful partnership with Mandeep Singh was enough to see them home. Chris Gayle revealed that once he got into his zone, he found stroke-making quite straightforward and this eased the pressure off his partner.
"It was important to assess the conditions as quickly as possible. They had two very good spinners, it was about making the adjustment as quickly as possible. Once you get the first boundary going, I was always going to get into the zone. Tried to hit as straight as possible and it paid off for me today which was very good and it eased the pressure off Mandeep," Chris Gayle said.
KXIP have now won five games on the trot and jumped up to fourth place on the IPL 2020 points table. They play the Rajasthan Royals next on Friday at Abu Dhabi and will be hoping to continue their winning streak.Published 27 Oct 2020, 16:20 IST