Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) kept their playoff hopes alive by defeating Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 14 runs at Mohali. Batting first, KXIP went on to set a challenging total of 167, riding on valuable contributions from Wriddhiman Saha (38) and captain Glenn Maxwell (44). But for KKR, despite Chris Lynn (84) striking gold, no other batsman could convert their starts and eventually succumbed to the KXIP bowlers. Mohit Sharma was adjudged the Man of the Match for his impressive figures of 2 for 24 in slog overs, giving his side a well-deserved victory and keeping them in contention for the IPL 2017 playoffs. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), IPL 10 Match 49

Speaking in the post-match conference, Gautam Gambhir, the KKR skipper pointed out the flaws in batting. I thought we started off very well. After six overs, me, Robin and Manish obviously played too many dot balls. That was the turning point. We could have rotated the strike better. Credit to Kings XI, they hung in there. They didn’t give us easy runs and they were always attacking. The dots ball made a lot of difference, Gambhir said.

KKR have been making various changes in their opening pair, but since past several games they have persisted with Sunil Narine to open the innings. Narine, who had smashed a 17-ball 54 in their previous game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), was dismissed cheaply against KXIP.

I could have opened and Robin could have batted at three at his original position. But Sunil has been hitting the ball well and we thought that he could provide the momentum upfront. But then we have one more to go. Me and Lynn might open and Robin will be back at three. Maybe we could think about the combination, Gambhir expressed.

Gambhir, who has been in a prime form this season, managed just 8 runs in 18 deliveries. KKR underperformed at crucial moments of the game and could not up their scoring rate in the death overs despite starting solidly.

At that point of time we were ahead in the game. It’s about we can think about the combination. That point of time (after powerplay) we were in the game. Taking the required rate from 8 to 11, that was the turning point, Gambhir opined.

KKR are currently at No. 2 position having accumulated 16 points and will play their next and the last group game against Mumbai Indians (MI) at Eden Gardens May 13.