When Mandeep Singh reached a well-deserved fifty, he raised his bat towards the sky. He was dedicating the knock to his father Hardev Singh, who passed away on Friday.

His measured 66 not out (56b, 8×4, 2×6) and Chris Gayle’s swashbuckling 51 (29b, 2×4, 5×6) — the pair added 100 for the second wicket — guided Kings XI Punjab to a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday.

A target of 150 for a formidable batting line-up on a ground with small boundaries was never going to be enough. KXIP romped home with seven balls to spare.

It was the fifth win in a row for K.L. Rahul’s men. What a turnaround it has been for them; two weeks ago, they were placed right at the bottom.

As it happened

They are playing so well now that not even the absence of Mayank Agarwal, the edition’s fifth-highest scorer with 398 runs, has affected…

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