Talking points from Punjab's crucial win over Kolkata
A sensational display from their pacers followed by a 100-run stand between two of their top-order batsmen in Mandeep Singh and Chris Gayle set up a crucial victory for Punjab over Kolkata which saw them climb to fourth on the Indian T20 League standings.
Here are the key talking points from the contest
A Gayle storm in the desert
When KL Rahul was dismissed on the final ball of the eighth over with Punjab’s scoring rate under six runs an over, Kolkata would have assumed that they have blown the game open in their favour. However, reality struck soon, as Chris Gayle unleashed a relentless assault, smashing 51 off 29 to set up an easy win for Punjab.
After a sensational 3-17 against Hyderabad, Englishman Chris Jordan continued his great form for Punjab, bowling a magnificent spell of 2-25 in his quota of four on Monday. On a ground infamous for its high-scoring matches, Jordan's spell was truly an outlier of a performance that helped Punjab restrict Kolkata to just 149.
An untimely collapse
A brilliant 81-run stand between Shubman Gill and Eoin Morgan after being reduced to 10/3 had seemingly set up Kolkata for a big finish and put up a competitive total on the board. But three wickets in 21 runs caused an untimely collapse and Kolkata could finish with only 149 on the board. In a match of this importance, a batting collapse at the top and in the middle order was the last thing Kolkata would have hoped for and it ultimately proved to be their downfall.
A race to the finish
Punjab's victory meant that the team at the top, Mumbai and fifth place Kolkata are separated by just two points. Add Rajasthan into the mix who are sixth with 10 points and the race for the top four is within the grasp for any of the current top six. It will be a race to the finish and one slip up could cause a seismic change in a team's fortune from here to the end of the league stage.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @IndianT20League