Kings XI Punjab batsman Mandeep Singh said that he had the belief that he could win the game for his side if he stayed till the end, after the win against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Monday.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Mandeep said, “I opened in the last game as well, they wanted me to have a go in the first 6 overs. I had a word with (KL) Rahul before the game, told him that let me play my game. Even if I take a few balls initially, I know I have the belief I can win games for the team, that’s what I did. And, Chris (Gayle) makes the game so easy.”
Mandeep wasn’t able to time the ball at the start of his innings. He was 3 (11) at one stage and after getting some boundaries, the spinners were able to strangle his run flow and was batting at 21 (27). But, when Gayle started hitting the KKR spinners 10th over onwards, it gave time and space to Mandeep to not take any extra risk and keep playing his game.
They both stitched a 100-run partnership and didn’t let KKR bowlers into the game once Gayle started bludgeoning the spin bowlers. Asked about what it’s like batting with the big man, Mandeep said that he is playing with Gayle since 2010 when they were with KKR so they know each other very well.
“[I am] very fortunate to know him as a friend. He’s so humble, so down to earth. He’s always in great touch, I’ve never seen him struggle. He’s the greatest T20 player ever.”
Kings XI Punjab have now won all 5 of the previous games they have played and have entered the top four after losing five games in a row in the first 7 games they played.
With that victory, KXIP now have 12 points in their kitty and are level with KKR. They need to win at least one of their two remaining games to keep their chances of qualifying for the play-offs.
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