Defending a moderate score of 150, Kolkata Knight Riders bowled superbly to leave Royal Challengers Bangalore stranded at 148 for 5 in 20 overs after one of the greatest catch taken so far in IPL 7 and brilliant death bowling helped Kolkata to stage a dramatic fightback to pull off a two-run in a thrilling last-ball finish.
Chasing 151, Bangalore fell short after an airborne Chris Lynn, who had earlier smashed a 31-ball 45, stretched his body backwards at the deep midwicket fence to pull off a blinder
and send back dangerman AB de Villiers.
Needing nine off the last over, Bangalore could manage only seven, thanks largely to R Vinay Kumar's excellent bowling besides Lynn's catch.
Chasing on a good batting surface, Bangalore were off to a blazing start with Yogesh Takawale (40) and Parthiv Patel (21) dealing in boundaries. Takawale was the more aggressive of the two as he launched into a flurry of boundaries, picking Kolkata pace spearhead Morne Morkel for special treatment.
Of his eight boundaries, six came when the 29-year-old Takawale was up against Morkel, helping his side reach 50 in just 37 balls. In between, hoping for a breakthrough, Kolkata skipper Gautam Gambhir handed over the ball to Sunil Narine, but took him off after a very economical first over, preferring to keep his most important bowler for the latter overs.
However, after settling in nicely, Takawale was trapped in front of the wickets by Jacques Kallis. He needed just 28 balls to score his 40 runs.
Captain Virat Kohli (31) walked in but even before he could get his eye in, Patel was making his way back to the dressing room, as his leading edge popped up for Lynn at cover.
This brought Yuvraj Singh (31) into the middle and the two experienced players went about the task in a calculated manner. At the halfway stage of their innings, RCB needed 64 runs with eight wickets in hand. Yuvraj brought the equation down by a few runs after he clobbered Umesh Yadav for a six into the midwicket stands. A single was taken before Kohli whacked the bowler over the midwicket region.
Kohli then hit Kallis for two exquisite back-to-back cover drives with sheer timing and placements. Yuvraj helped himself to a boundary to deep square leg, before Kohli smashed Narine's full toss to midwicket.
The mystery spinner had his revenge next ball, with a tossed-up ball that spun in before beating the inside edge of Kohli's bat.
At the end of 16th over, Bangalore needed 28 runs with seven wickets still remaining, but the team failed to achieve the task it set out to. For Kolkata, Vinay Kumar finished with 2 for 26 while Narine picked up one.
Earlier, Kolkata recovered to score 150 for 7 after Varun Aaron's three-wicket burst. Sent in to bat, Kolkata were off to another disastrous start, losing skipper Gambhir for a duck for the third successive time in the ongoing seventh edition of IPL.
An 80-run second-wicket partnership between Kallis and Lynn ensued, before three quick wickets pegged the former champions back.
Robin Uthappa (22) boosted Kolkata's run rate with a couple of sixes but could not last till the end. It was then left to Suryakumar Yadav (24 not out) to take Kolkata to a decent total.
Gambhir was trapped in front of the wicket by a fast and full Mitchell Starc delivery off the third ball of the innings.
Albie Morkel struck in the next over as Manish Pandey's leading edge was easily taken by Virat Kohli at point, leaving Kolkata struggling at 10 for 2 in the second over.
When the 24-year-old Lynn walked in to bat, Kolkata were in a spot of bother, but that did not show in the manner the Aussie straightaway went ahead in his task.
Bangalore's move to introduce Muttiah Muralitharan into the attack in the seventh over backfired, as the Sri Lankan veteran was smashed for two sixes by Lynn in his first over.
Kallis swept Muralitharan over deep square leg after Lynn whacked Yuzvendra Chahal for a maximum over deep midwicket, where Starc completed the catch only to touch the ropes.
The partnership was brought to an end after Aaron's re-introduction. With the spinners going for runs, bringing back the pacer proved to be a successful move. Lynn's flat-batted hit failed to clear AB de Villiers at long-off.
Lynn struck three sixes and as many fours in his 31-ball knock. Next man in, Yusuf Pathan lacked discretion, evidenced by his irresponsible shot off only the second ball he faced. The result was a simple catch for Kohli at mid-off.
Having used quite a few deliveries, Kallis fell while going for a biggie against Chahal. Aaron finished with impressive figures of 3 for 16, while Lynn (45) and Kallis (43) were the major contributors with the bat for Kolkata.
With PTI inputs