Chasing a fighting target of 169, Kolkata got off to the perfect start with openers Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine started to hit boundaries from the word go.
Narine hit two boundaries off Sandeep Sharma's first two balls of the first over to announce his intentions while Lynn too hit a four in the same over to join the party. The two kept dealing in boundaries and KKR's score at the end of third over read 31/0.
Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders: As It Happened
Mohit Sharma was introduced into the attack but he too was taken to the cleaners by Narine. However, Mohit hit back strongly after being hit for two boundaries as the medium pacer got rid off Narine for 18.
Lynn continued his onslaught and notched up his third half-century of the season off just 29 balls.
Meanwhile, skipper Gautam Gambhir wasn't being given a chance to free his arms and he was struggling to hit boundaries. The pressure on the southpaw finally did the trick as he gave away easy catch to Shaun Marsh off the bowling of Rahul Tewatia.
Tewatia then dismissed Robin Uthappa for 0 and these two blows proved to be the turning point as KXIP bowlers came back strongly into the match. Manish Pandey struggled to keep up with the scoring rate which piled on the pressure on Lynn.
The Aussie hit few boundaries to keep KKR in the chase but Pandey's 23-ball 18 innings was ended by Matt Henry. Two ball later Chris Lynn was run-out by an excellent pick and throw by Axar Patel, which proved to be the final nail in the coffin for KKR. Lynn was dismissed for a well made 84 off 52 balls.
20 runs were needed off the last over of the match and Sandeep gave away just 5 runs off it as Punjab kept their hopes of a play-off berth alive with this thrilling win.
Earlier, Kings XI Punjab lost wickets at regular intervals and could not get partnerships going as Kolkata Knight Riders restricted them to 167/6 in their designated 20 overs.
Glenn Maxwell (44; 25b; 1x4, 4x6) and Wriddhiman Saha 38 (33b; 2x4, 1x6) stitched together a 71-run stand for the fourth wicket but it was KKR's England all-rounder Chris Woakes who stole the show with best bowling figures of 2/20 in his alloted four overs.
Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav also returned decent figures of 2/34 as the Gautam Gambhir-led side never let the Punjab batsmen pull away.
Axar Patel (not out 8) and Rahul Tewatia (not out 14) were at the crease at the end of the innings.
In the absence of Hashim Amla, Martin Guptill opened the batting with Manan Vohra. The pair did not last long though.
First to go was Vohra (25; 16b; 4x4, 0x6), falling to in-form fast bowler Umesh Yadav trying to play fine down the leg side with the ball kissing the glove and carrying to fit-again wicket-keeper Robin Uthappa.
In the next over, Narine got Guptill (12; 16b 1x4 0x6) leg before wicket. After Powerplay overs (6), the hosts were 41/2.
Shaun Marsh looked good for his 11, milking two boundaries before Chris Woakes castled him.
Maxwell and Saha stemmed the rot with a cautious association. Punjab were 63/3 at the halfway stage. Just when Maxwell tried to up the ante, tonking Kuldeep Yadav for two consecutive sixes only to get out in the next ball. Trying to clear the fence again, the big-hitting Australian forced Woakes to run across from long-off and complete a superb catch.
Swapnil Singh departed soon after adding just two runs to the total as the visitors reined in the run flow in the final overs.
First Published: May 10, 2017, 12:02 AM IST