Cape Town - Sunil Narine grabbed four wickets before Andre Russell galloped to a fifty as the Kolkata Knight Riders beat the Kings XI Punjab by one wicket in their Indian Premier League match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Saturday.
Offspinner Narine ended with 4-19 off four overs as Punjab were restricted to 183 for five before Russell smashed his way to 51 off a mere 21 balls with five fours and four sixes as Kolkata reached 184 for nine to clinch the win with just one ball of their innings remaining.
The win moved Kolkata to the top of the points table, one point ahead of the Chennai Super Kings although Chennai have a game in hand.
The match had been finally poised with just four balls left but Piyush Chawla (18) struck the third ball of the over for six before Narine scampered a leg-bye off the fifth ball to secure the narrowest of wins.
Narine had played a crucial role in stemming a batting assault from Glenn Maxwell and Wriddhiman Saha which looked to have given Punjab the advantage.
The pair had bludgeoned 65 runs off just 5.4 overs with Maxwell in a particularly belligerent mood as he hammered his way to 43 off just 22 balls with four fours and three sixes.
But Narine accounted for both men in the space of three balls when he had Maxwell caught at deep mid-wicket before he bowled Saha, who had scored 33 off 25 deliveries.
Kolkata did not aid their cause during the innings as they dropped six catches.
Punjab made a lightning start to their innings, after winning the toss and electing to bat, as they raced to 45 for no loss in the sixth over thanks to the opening pair of Murali Vijay (28) and Manan Vohra.
Vijay was living dangerously and he was dropped three times in scoring his first 24 runs but his luck finally ran out when he was bowled by Narine.
Vohra struck a four and three sixes in scoring 39 off 34 balls before he was caught and bowled by Narine.
Maxwell and Saha then took the score to 143 for two before both men were dismissed in the 17th over.
Paceman Russell struck in the final over when he caught and bowled Gurkeerat Singh (4).
David Miller (27 not out) provided the innings with some late impetus as he blasted two sixes and two fours off the last over as Russell conceded 21 runs off the 20th over.
Kolkata made an impressive start to their run chase as they reached 31 in the fourth over before Robin Uthappa (17) was caught at short mid-wicket off the bowling of seamer Anureet Singh.
Manish Pandey (22) was dismissed by the off-spin of Maxwell before Gautam Gambhir (24) was caught at long-off off the bowling of offspinner Gurkeerat as the hosts slipped to 69 for three in the ninth over.
Suryakumar Yadav (9) was the next man to depart, bowled by Gurkeerat, before Yusuf Pathan and Russell launched an astonishing assault.
The duo smashed 53 runs off just 4.1 overs for the fifth wicket. Russell and Pathan went on the charge during the 13th and 14th over as they pounded 40 runs off the two overs which included four sixes and three fours.
Pathan helped himself to 29 off 19 balls with one four and three sixes before he edged a delivery from left-arm quick Beuran Hendricks through to keeper Saha.
Russell reached his fifty off just 19 balls to equal the fastest half-century in this year’s IPL before he edged a delivery from left-arm spinner Axar Patel through to keeper Saha to leave Kolkata on 159 for six in the 17th over to set up a close finish.