A visibly emotional Mandeep Singh dedicated his match-winning knock of 66 in 56 balls to his late father, Hardev Singh, who passed away on Friday. The Kings XI Punjab batsman was unable to see him for the last time as he remained preoccupied with his IPL commitments in the UAE. Singh said that his fifty against the KKR assumed a special place in his career as he recalled his father’s last words shared with him.
Singh said, “This was very special especially my father always used to tell me that you should remain not out in every game. So I finished the game and this is definitely for him. Whether I score 100 or 200, he always used to tell me ‘why did you get out?’ So definitely, special, special.”
Singh had chosen to stay back in the UAE on Friday when the news of his father’s tragic demise reached him. His team went on to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad in a low-scoring match.
On Monday, Singh started slow but went on to remain unbeaten at 66, which included eight fours and two sixes. The Kings XI Punjab opener said that he had a talk with his skipper KL Rahul before the match asking if he could play his natural game instead of trying to score big from the first ball, which hadn’t paid dividends in the last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad. “I told Rahul that if I can play my normal game, then I will finish the game. Even though I was batting slowly in the beginning, but I had the belief that I will pull this off,” he said.
According to Singh, Rahul was absolutely comfortable with his approach as he asked him to play his natural game.
Chasing a target of 150, Kings XI Punjab registered their fifth straight win as they defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by 8 wickets.