Kings XI Punjab opener Mandeep Singh battled personal grief as he made a match-winning half-century against Kolkata Knight Riders in an IPL 2020 match on Monday. Mandeep’s father passed away a couple of days back and the cricketer attended the funeral via video call.

Mandeep scored an unbeaten 66 as KXIP chased down 150 in 18.5 overs for an eight-wicket win.

KXIP captain KL Rahul said the way Mandeep batted, made everyone emotional.

“With the bubble, you don’t have your closed ones. The way he (Mandeep) played, it makes everyone emotional,” Rahul said at the post-match presentation.

Rahul praised head coach Anil Kumble for the superb performances of his spinners Murugan Ashwin and Ravi Bishnoi.

“When you have Anil Kumble as the coach, it’s not surprising that we have two leg-spinners. Complete team effort, a lot of credit has to go to the coaches,” Rahul said.

With the win, their fifth on the trot, KXIP have jumped to the fourth spot in the standings.

KKR skipper Eoin Morgan was rued the lack of partnerships barring him and opener Shubman Gill.

Gill top-scored for his team with 57 off 45 followed by Morgan’s 40.

After the former champions had lost three wickets for just 10 runs, it was the duo who counterattacked to wrest control, adding 81 runs for the fourth wicket.

“Disappointed with the partnerships, thought we could have scored more (runs). When we were three down, we wanted a partnership going,” Morgan said. “Around 180-190 would have been a good score, but we kept losing wickets. That’s one of the challenges this year, going from ground to ground.”