New Delhi: A 110-run fourth wicket stand between Yusuf Pathan (59) and Manish Pandey (69*) gave the Kolkata Knight Riders a much deserved 4-wicket win over the Delhi Daredevils at the Ferozeshah Kotla, condemning Zaheer Khan's team to their first home loss of the season.
Manish Pandey was the star of the show as he kept his cool in a tense final over to take Kolkata over the line, staying unbeaten on 69.
Chasing a competitive target of 169 to win the match, the Knight Riders were off to the worst possible start as they lost their first three wickets for just 21 runs. Zaheer Khan gave his team the breakthrough in the first over itself as he sent back pinch hitter Colin de Grandhomme for 1.
Zaheer Khan then came back to dismiss his counterpart Gambhir (14) to leave the Knights' chase in disarray. This was the sixth time Zaheer had dismissed Gambhir in the Indian Premier League.
That brought Yusuf Pathan to the middle and the veteran joined hands with the impressive Manish Pandey to start a rearguard.
The duo mixed caution with aggression as they kept getting the boundaries without taking too many risks to slowly but steadily put the pressure back on Delhi's bowling.
Pathan got three boundaries off the sixth over bowled by Pat Cummins as KKR ended the powerplay at 49/3. Pathan kept getting the odd boundary and six away as KKR ended the 10th over with 88 runs on the board, still needing 81 runs to win the match.
Manish Pandey, who had played the sheet anchor's role so far, completed a much deserved half-century in the 16th over, as the equation looked in favour of KKR, who needed just 22 runs off the last three overs.
But Suryakumar Yadav's dismissal in the 18th over bowled by Pat Cummins, which yielded only 6 runs, meant KKR needd 16 off the last two.
Chris Morris bowled the 19th over and the second delivery was hoicked towards the long on fence by Manish Pandey. It looked like the ball would go over the fence for a maximum, only for Sanju Samson to produce a brilliant stop. The youngster plucked the ball mid-air and then dived over the boundary rope, and let go of the ball in time to ensure the KKR batsmen only got two runs instead of six.
That acrobatic effort kept Delhi in the match as Morris conceded only 7 off the over and Kolkata needed 9 to win from the last over, with new man Chris Woakes on strike.
Zaheer Khan chose Amit Mishra for the final over and the magician produced two dot ball off the first two deliveries, the second of the two had Woakes stumped by Pant.
The pressure was on Sunil Narine, but the West Indian managed to get a single off the third delivery to bring Manish Pandey back on strike.
Mishra bowled a faster one off the next ball and Pandey deposited it in the stands over long on to all but seal the deal as KKR now needed 2 runs off 2 deliveries to win the match.
The double was duly taken off the next delivery as Pandey powered his team past a charged up Daredevils side.
Sam Billings also got going with a few boundaries of his own as the duo took Delhi to a commanding 53 for no loss after the six powerplay overs. But just as the Daredevils would have thought of making the most of the platform, Coulter-Nile came back to remove Billings (21) off the first delivery of the seventh over.
Umesh Yadav sent back Samson (39) in the eighth over to ensure the Daredevils lost the momentum they had built in the initial overs as the two new batsmen had to start building the innings from the scratch.
Shreyas Iyer played some eye catching shots to keep the run rate up while Karun Nair dropped anchor at the other end. Iyer though was unlucky to be dismissed for 26 when he was run out, courtesy a bullet throw from the deep by Colin de Garndhomme.
Karun Nair's painstakingly slow knock of 21 off 27 deliveries came to an end on the last delivery of the 15th over bowled by Nathan Coulter-Nile. Delhi's innings was in desperate need of some quick impetus and it came from Rishabh Pant.
The southpaw scored three massive sixes and two boundaries off Umesh Yadav's 17th over, to drag Delhi to 145/4. Sunil Narine bamboozled Angelo Mathews (1) in the next over while Rishabh Pant's attacking knock of 38 off just 16 deliveries was brought to an end by Nathan Coulter-Nile in the 19th over.
The over saw two easy catches dropped by the KKR fielders and they had to pay for it as Chris Morris, the beneficiary on both occasions, hit two boundaries of the last over before being dismissed for 16 by Umesh Yadav, as the hosts meandered to a total of 168/7.