Two-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) registered their fifth win this season after pulling off a spectacular run-chase against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in a five-wicket triumph at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on 2 May.
The visitors chased down a compelling total of 185 runs after a blazing knock by Yusuf Pathan (60*) who was adequately supported by Andre Russell (39). The duo added 96 runs in just 44 deliveries to ensure their side achieved the target with five balls to spare.
Requiring over nine runs an over, Kolkata suffered an early setback in Robin Uthappa (1) who was dismissed by Stuart Binny in the first over. Uthappa was looking to drive away from his body when he sent the ball straight into the hands of Virat Kohli at point.
Chris Lynn (15), who had smashed a towering six off Binny in the third over, was looking to build a partnership with his captain Gautam Gambhir (37) when the introduction of Yuzvendra Chahal's spin got the better of him in the fifth over.
Gambhir looked good with four fours and a six in his 29-ball knock until Sreenath Aravind got him lbw in the ninth over to dent KKR's chase. Soon, Shane Watson got rid of the dangerous Manish Pandey (8) as the visitors lost two wickets for a mere three runs.
The top four batsmen of Kolkata scored just 61 runs - their lowest in the last 19 IPL matches. With the required rate jumping over 12 runs an over, the middle-order of the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned franchise rose to the occasion as the game slipped from RCB's hands - quite literally.
Russell quickly changed gears and smashed spinner Tabraiz Shamsi for two sixes and a four off successive deliveries in the 15th over. The RCB bowlers didn't get any reprieve from Pathan either. The right-handed batsman smacked four fours and a six off Watson in the 17th over - that yielded 24 runs.
Despite Russell's dismissal to Chahal in the 18th over, Pathan and Suryakumar Yadav (10*) kept their side in contention with breathtaking stroke-play. Pathan smoked a towering six off Shamsi to bring up his sensational fifty in just 27 balls.
The 19th over of Shamsi summed up the game for Kolkata as Pathan and Suryakumar scored 16 runs with just a single required in the final over. Suryakumar might have scored the winning runs with a four, but it was undoubtedly Pathan's unbeaten knock of 60 runs (6x4s and 3x6s) that turned the tide in Kolkata's favour.
Barring Chahal (2-27), it was a bad day at office for the RCB bowlers who lacked discipline against the batting might of Kolkata. The Kohli brigade gave away 19 runs as extras, while their crucial bowlers - Watson (1-38) and Shamsi (0-51) - conceded over 12 runs an over.
Earlier, KL Rahul (32-ball 52) continued to impress with the bat after Bangalore lost Chris Gayle (7) in the second over. Rahul and Kohli (52) added 84 runs for the second wicket to steady the innings for the home side.
Their partnership, which started to look threatening, was finally ended by Piyush Chawla who dismissed Rahul in the 12th over. Kolkata's leg spinner struck again in the 14th over to claim the prized scalp of AB de Villiers (4) for the fourth time in the IPL - most dismissals by a bowler against the South African.
Kohli was looking to accelerate the innings when he was dropped by Gambhir in the 17th over. However, much to the relief of the KKR captain, Kohli was dismissed on the very next delivery of Morne Morkel after he lobbed a simple catch to Russell.
Watson (21-ball 34) smashed five fours and a six in his innings to boost his side, while Binny's cameo of a four-ball 16 (1x4 and 2x6s) propelled the home team to a competitive total of 185 runs - which ultimately fell short against the explosive batting of Kolkata.
Russell (1-24) and Morkel (2-28) were the pick of the bowlers for the visiting team. Umesh Yadav (1-56) and Sunil Narine (0-45) had an off day with both the bowlers conceding over 11 runs an over.
It was the fifth and also the third consecutive loss for Bangalore this season. Star-studded RCB has won just two out of their seven games so far in the IPL. On the other hand, Kolkata are back to the winning ways after their consecutive losses to Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils earlier in the tournament.