Half centuries by Yusuf Pathan and Manish Pandey enabled Kolkata Knight Riders overcome early jitters en route a thrilling four-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils in an Indian Premier League match here today.
Thereafter, Yusuf Pathan (59) and Manish Pandey batted sensibly to resurrect the visitors' innings with a 110-run fourth wicket stand, as KKR went past the 100-run mark easily in the 13th over.
In the end, Pandey kept his cool, striking four boundaries and three sixes to help the visitors get over the line.
A target of 169, on a pitch as placid as the one at the Ferozshah Kotla ground, is far from intimidating.
The chase was floundering at 21-3 when Khan induced a leading edge from Gambhir, then revived as Mandey and Yusuf Pathan put on 50 runs in 30 balls.
Pandey had tried to finish things off a little earlier, with a fierce hit meant for the long-on boundary, but it was miraculously intercepted by Sanju Samson.
Pat Cummins took some hammer in the sixth over as the pair grew in confidence and KKR were 49 for three at the end of the six over powerplay. There are very few cricketers who can hit the ball as cleanly as the Baroda cricketer, but he also showed that he can be equally adept at getting the scoreboard ticking without necessarily going for the big shots.
"Delhi has a good bowling line-up and Zaheer is captaining them really well". KKR 125-3 after 14 overs. He has been one of the main batsmen for KKR, with aggregate scores of 401, 225 and 248 in three seasons since joining the side in 2014.
With nine runs needed from the last over, and with five wickets in hand, nine times out of ten, you would favour the batting team. Manish got back on strike with his team needing eight off the final three balls; he picked the ball from wide outside the off-stump and cleared the man at long-on.
What would make KKR happy is that Yusuf Pathan finally came good in this match, hitting a 39-ball 59, with two maximums and six boundaries.
Daredevils skipper Zaheer Khan admitted after the narrow four-wicket defeat that they missed the services of the fifth bowler, implying that they missed another spinner on a track which had turn. Cummins, Chris Morris and Mishra were the other wicket-takers.
Earlier, the Daredevils made a decision to bat first as Zaheer Khan called it right at the toss.
The hosts got off to a brisk start after opting to bat first on a bald surface.
Sam Billings was the first of his victims.
After playing a leading role in Kolkata Knight Riders' four-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils, seamer Nathan Coulter-Nile said it wasn't easy to return to cricket after the injury lay-off. Samson did the same in the next over, edging Umesh Yadav to the keeper.
Samson fell shortly after for 39, but just as the Daredevils seemed to be rebuilding their innings, Shreyas Iyer was run out by Colin de Grandhomme for 26.
DD were 110 after 15 overs and needed someone to up the ante. Rishabh Pant's 16-ball 38 ensured they went past the 160-run mark.