Kings XI Punjab won just one of the first seven matches they played in IPL 2020, languishing at the bottom of the points table. The last five games have seen them notch up five wins on the trot and move up to fourth spot.
Sharjah played host to the clash between Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday night.
Electing to field first, Kings XI struck with the second ball of the match. Glenn Maxwell dismissing Nitish Rana for a duck - KKR 1/1.
The next over saw the departure of both Rahul Tripathi and Dinesh Karthik as Mohammed Shami ripped through the top order. Kolkata struggling at 10/3.
Skipper Eoin Morgan and Shubman Gill then came together and led a recovery effort for KKR with an 81-run partnership.
Morgan particularly found some form and displayed some great shots while Gill held up the other end with some good cricket of his own.
The pair took KKR to 91/3 in the tenth over before Ravi Bishnoi struck to bring the curtains down on Morgan’s innings of 40 off 25 balls.
Sunil Narine, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Pat Cummins all failed to provide any support to Gill at the other end.
And when Gill finally fell for 57 off 45 balls to Shami, KKR had managed just 136/8 in 18.3 overs.
Lockie Ferguson added a quick 24 off 13 balls to help push Kolkata to 149/9 in 20 overs.
KL Rahul and Mandeep Singh made a great start to the Punjab innings. Rahul, in particular, looked in good touch from the word go while Mandeep played it slow before picking up pace.
Rahul made 28 off 25 balls before he was dismissed by Varun Chakravarthy in the 8th over.
However, that brought in Chris Gayle who, true to form, smacked Kolkata’s bowlers all around the park racing to 51 off 29 balls before he was sent back to the pavilion by Lockie Ferguson.
KKR’s total was too low for his wicket to make any major impact especially with Mandeep having remained rock solid at the other end, finishing with 66 not out off 56 balls.
Kings XI wrapped up the chase in 18.5 overs, winning by 8 wickets and moving up to fourth place on the points table.
Chris Gayle was named Man of the Match.