KXIP thrash KKR by 8 wkts, stay in fray for playoffs

Sharjah, Oct 26 (IANS) Mandeep Singh hammered a brisk 66 not out off 56 balls, Chris Gayle slammed 51 off 29 balls, and pacer Mohammed Shami captured three wickets to guide Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) to a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in an Indian Premier League match on Monday, and remain in fray for the playoffs.
The KL Rahul-led KXIP won the toss and restricted KKR to 149 for nine wickets in 20 overs, and then overhauled the target (150 for two wickets) in 18.5 overs at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Mandeep and Gayle were associated in a 100-run partnership for the second wicket that took them to the brink of the big win. In the KKR innings, KXIP speedster returned Shami returned excellent figures of 4-0-3-35.
Earlier, KKR opening batsman Shubman Gill returned to form with a half-century, but Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) came back to apply brakes and restrict them to 149 for nine wickets in 20 overs. Gill scored a 45-ball 57 and shared an 81-run partnership with skipper Eoin Morgan for the fourth wicket. Morgan made 40 off 25 balls. Lockie Ferguson hammered a 13-ball 24 to give some respectability to the total.
India seamer Shami was the most successful bowler with three wickets for 35. His two wickets early on had reduced KKR to 10 for three. Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi picked 2/20 and Chris Jordan took 2/25.

Brief scores: KKR: 149/9 wkts in 20 overs (S Gill 57, E Morgan 40, L Ferguson 24 not out, M Shami 3/35, R Bishnoi 2/20, C Jordan 2/25) lost to KXIP: 150/2 wkts in 18.5 overs (Mandeep Singh 66 not out, Chris Gayle 51, Lockie Ferguson 1/32) by eight wickets

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