Manpreet Gony's brilliant all-round show helped Kings XI Punjab stage a miraculous comeback to stun defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders by four runs in a thrilling Pepsi Indian Premier League encounter, in Mohali, on Tuesday.
Gautam Gambhir's stupendous batting and Sunil Narine's splendid hat-trick went in-vain as Kolkata lost their third game on the road. This is Punjab's second win from four matches that lifts them to fifth in the table.
Chasing a decent target of 158, KKR managed 153 for nine in the end despite a 105-run third wicket partnership between Gambhir, who made 60, and Eoin Morgan (47).
From a comfortable 106 for two in 13 overs, Kolkata required only 52 off 42 balls but once the two set batsmen were out in quick succession, things changed rapidly.
Manoj Tiwary (1) and Yusuf Pathan (13) wasted 14 deliveries in between them as Manpreet Gony (1/18) and Azhar Mahmood (3/21) bowled brilliantly to get the home team back in the match.
Needing 11 runs from the final over, Adam Gilchrist saved what would have been 5 wides of the first delivery from Praveen Kumar. The pacer then kept his cool as he first removed Yusuf out of the equation and gave away only six runs to bring cheer for the home team to finish with good figures of two for 26.
Rajat Bhatia tried his best with a couple of sixes to smash 16 from six balls but he was bowled by Parvinder Awana in the 19th over.
Gony, playing his first game of the tournament, made a big impact in the final outcome of the encounter as he played a stellar role with both the bat and ball.
With the bat, he smashed 42 off just 18 balls that took Kings XI took a healthy 157 for nine which had looked improbable when they were tottering at 99 for six. Later, he removed a set Gambhir to bring KKR back in the match and also bowled consistently during his four-over spell, conceding just a wide each in his final two overs.
The highlight during the first part of the match was Narine's hat-trick before Gony arrived to change the equation of the match.
Vindicating skipper Gautam Gambhir's decision to field first, Narine (3/33) along with Sri Lankan Sachitra Senanayake (2/28) bamboozled the Kings XI batsmen with their variations before Gony thrashed the West Indian for 23 runs in his final over to bring home team back in the match.
Narine achieved the landmark with his last three deliveries of the 15th over of the innings. First, he got the wicket of David Hussey, who was beaten by the extra bounce and caught behind by wicketkeeper Manvinder Bisla for 12.
Veteran Azhar Mahmood closed his bat face off the very next delivery as the leading edge looped up for the bowler to complete an easy return catch.
The hat-trick delivery was easily the best of the lot as youngster Gurkeerat Singh (0) was foxed by the carrom ball that turned the other way to crash into the middle stump.
Gony walked out to bat with Punjab tottering at 99 for six and it soon became 109 for seven with David Miller (20) back in the dug-out. However the big-bodied Gony unleashed some booming shots to help Punjab amass 41 runs in 3.1 overs.
The former India pacer hit four boundaries and three huge sixes including two fours and two sixes in Narine's final over.
Earlier, Kings XI Punjab captain Adam Gilchrist's woeful form in the current edition continued as Senanayake trapped him leg before wicket for seven with a straighter one in his very first over.
Mandeep Singh hit 41 from 30 balls and young Manan Vohra (17) negotiated the KKR bowlers confidently adding 37 runs for the second wicket before both were out in quick succession.