KKR now have 12 points with a game against Mumbai Indians to go, while Punjab have 10 with a match against Chennai Super Kings pending.
Punjab posted a competitive total of 183-6 with Sam Curran (55* off 24) and Nicholas Pooran (48 off 27) leading the way after Sandeep Warrier dismissed the dangerous Chris Gayle and KL Rahul. However, Gill and Lynn, with contributions from the rest, took KKR to an easy seven-wicket win in 18 overs.
Kolkata's chase was clinical, beginning at the top. Chris Lynn took a liking to young Arshdeep Singh, hitting three fours and a six in his first two overs that cost 24.
More boundaries flew off R Ashwin and Andre Tye's bowling, before Lynn fell in the last ball of the Power Play unsuccessfully slogging Tye. However, Lynn's 22-ball 46 meant Punjab had raced to 62 for 1 in the Power Play.
Punjab slipped in a couple of silent overs but Robin Uthappa took on M Ashwin for two fours and a six in the ninth over, taking the side to 90 for 1. R Ashwin got the better of Uthappa soon, but the quick start meant KKR were well on top.
Uthappa's exit brought in Russell, but the next phase was all about Gill. The opener had slipped under the radar during Lynn's carnage but took centrestage in the 13th over, hitting R Ashwin for two sixes and a four to get to his half-century in 36 balls, much to the joy of his parents in the crowd.
While Lynn, and briefly Russell, were all about force, Gill played some sublime strokes to guide his side.
Russell fell for a 14-ball 24, but Gill carried on to take KKR home in the company of his captain Dinesh Karthik.
Put in to bat, Punjab would have looked up to Chris Gayle and KL Rahul for quick starts in the crucial game. That, though, wasn't to be as Warrier dismissed both with well disguised knuckle balls. Both batsmen failed to read the lack of pace and played their strokes early to be out caught, Punjab were 22 for 2 in the fifth over.
One of Punjab's biggest problems this season has been the lack of depth in batting, and that was in real danger of being exposed on the night. However, Pooran first and Curran later stood up to take them to a competitive total.
Pooran seemed to enjoy his promotion to No. 4. He wasn't unfazed by the situation and went for his shots, connecting cleanly. Harry Gurney, Andre Russell and Piyush Chawla were taken to the cleaners as Punjab raced to 84 for 2 in 10 overs, Pooran scoring 48 off 25 then.
An animated pep-talk in the time-out later, Karthik turned to Nitish Rana, who provided the breakthrough when Pooran holed out to the deep in the 11th over.
There was a bit of a lull for Punjab with Mayank Agarwal falling in th 30s again, leaving them 111 for 4 in the 14th over.
However, Curran ensured Punjab would have the momentum once again. He got going slamming Sunil Narine for a six and should have been out in the same over, but Rinku Singh dropped a sitter at long-on with Curran on 17. That would cost KKR big as Curran kicked on, helping Punjab score 32 in the last two. Russell was slammed for two fours in the penultimate over, while Gurney bled 22 in the last with Curran hitting three fours and a six. As things turned out, it was nowhere close to enough.
First Published: May 4, 2019, 7:10 AM IST