A day after losing his father, Mandeep Singh had played against Sunrisers Hyderabad. And the 28-year-old continued to show great character by not just playing in Kings XI Punjab’s next match versus Kolkata Knight Riders but also ending up with an undefeated 66 to steer his side to their fifth successive victory.
In the 16th over of the game, when Mandeep completed his fifty, it turned out to be an emotional moment for the opener as he looked heavenwards and paid tribute to his father by lifting his bat. He got a standing ovation from his team-mates in the dug-out and also an applause from his batting partner, Chris Gayle.
After KXIP posted an eight-wicket victory, Mandeep noted that his father used to tell him to ‘remain not out in every game’ and he fulfilled his wishes by guiding the side to victory.
“My father used to tell me that ‘you should remain not out in every game’ and that is what I wanted to do today. Even before the game I spoke to Rahul that ‘let me play my game, even if I take few balls I can win games for the team’. I think my father would be really happy that I finished the game,” he told the IPLT20.com.
After languishing at the bottom of the table with just one victory, KXIP have scripted a stunning turnaround, and now find themselves slotted in at the fourth position. Mandeep hailed the kind of fighting spirit displayed by the franchise. “It’s just the self-belief that we’ve shown in the last few games. No matter what, we have to keep the Punjabi fight in every game,” he told in the post-game press conference.
“We are one of the best groups in IPL and we should play with freedom. Now games are going our way. We were unlucky initially but we were playing good cricket. We just needed to finish games. We focused on the process and now luck is also favouring us,” he added.
Mandeep also shared a 100-run stand with the veteran batsman, Gayle, with the pair setting the platform for victory. Mandeep said that he has been ‘lucky’ that in his IPL career that he has got the opportunity to play alongside the players he’s played. “I’ve been very lucky that I’ve played with guys like Chris, AB, Kohli. And I started with Chris in 2010 with KKR and very fortunate to know him as a friend. He’s so humble. He makes the game so easy and I’ve never seen him struggle.”