Rookie batsman Rahul Tripathi played a breathtaking knock of 93 to single-handedly power Rising Pune Supergiant to a four-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, in Kolkata, on Wednesday.
The Pune bowlers put up a disciplined effort to limit KKR to 155 for eight before Tripathi fashioned his team's win with a 52-ball blinder, haing slammed nine fours and seven sixes.
The visiting team got home with four balls to spare with Tripathi missing out on a well deserved hundred.
The pick of the Pune bowlers was Jaydev Unadkat, who ended with figures of two for 28 after bowling a wicket-maiden in the first over of the game.
It was a sixth win in seven matches for Pune, who have moved up to third place in the points table and closer to a play-off berth with 14 points from 11 matches. With their second straight loss, KKR remain second in the table with 14 points from 11 matches.
It was all Tripathi in the chase as he stood out in Pune's star-studded batting line-up.
His sensational innings was studded with seven sixes, three off them coming in succession off chinaman Kuldeep Yadav in the 13th over to reduce the equation to 26 off the last 42 balls.
However, he could not stay till the end as he pulled one straight to midwicket in the penultimate over with six runs needed to win.
Daniel Christian sealed the win with a six off Colin de Grandhomme in the final over of the match.
Born in Ranchi and raised in Maharashtra, the 26-year-old Tripathi, who made his IPL debut this season, showed fine composure as he held on despite wickets falling around him -- Ajinkya Rahane (11), Steve Smith (9), Manoj Tiwary (8), Ben Stokes (14) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (5).
He was brutal against Coulter-Nile and smashed the Aussie for 4, 6, 4, 4 -- the last three of them in succession, to race to 18 off seven balls in the third over.
In the next over, India pace spearhead Umesh Yadav took the brunt as he hammered him for a six with a swivel shot on backfoot and followed it up with a four off a slower one.
That Tripathi has a higher strike-rate than the likes of David Warner, Brendon McCullum, Jos Buttler, Kieron Pollard, AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle this season sums up his performance of the youngster who was bought at a base price of 10 lakh at the IPL auction.
Earlier, Rising Pune Supergiant dished out a tidy bowling performance to restrict Kolkata Knight Riders to 155 for eight.
Put in to bat, KKR found the going tough at their backyard and suffered their worst start of the season to be struggling at 55 for four inside 10 overs.
Their top four -- Sunil Narine (0), Gautam Gambhir (24), Sheldon Jackson (10) and Yusuf Pathan (4) -- were all back in the dugout midway into their innings.
Unadkat returned with excellent figures of 4-1-28-2, while 17-year-old Washington Sundar too was impressive as he claimed two for 18 from two overs.
The duo of Manish Pandey (37 off 32) and Colin de Grandhomme (36 off 19) revived KKR innings with a 48-run fifth wicket partnership off 30 balls.
Having conceded just six runs in his opening spell of two overs, Unadkat returned to dismiss Grandhomme in the 17th over in which he conceded one run as KKR struggled to get going.
It was thanks to Suryakumar Yadav, who was playing in place of an injured Robin Uthappa, that KKR were able to cross the 150-run mark after the aggressive batsman smashed a quickfire 30 from 16 balls.
Pune made the perfect start with the ball Unadkat, starting off with a wicket maiden, including the scalp of Narine, who was caught and bowled for a duck.
After being beaten off the first five deliveries, Narine finally got a connection off the last ball of the over, but only managed to hit it straight back to the bowler Unadkat.
Pune captain Steven Smith showed full faith in youngster Washington, bringing the off-spinner in the fourth over with KKR yet to break free.
It was a gamble that paid off as Washington struck with the wicket Sheldon Jackson, who was dismissed hit wicket for 10.
Gambhir went on the attack against Washington with a four and six off successive deliveries but the youngster got revenge as Gambhir holed out to Rahane at deep midwicket, leaving his team at 41 for three after six overs.
This was the worst start for KKR but there was more in store when Imran Tahir trapped a sloppy Yusuf Pathan (4) leg before wicket in his second over.
Just when they were looking down the barrel, Pandey played a perfect fiddle in the company of Kiwi de Grandhomme as the duo scored at brisk pace in the middle overs.
Unadkat returned to haunt KKR once again when he dismissed the dangerous-looking de Grandhomme in the 17th over.
In the next over, Nathan Coulter-Nile was hit on his helmet by a rising bouncer from Dan Christan but managed to continue batting.
Suryakumar took on Unadkat in the 19th over, hitting him for a couple of fours and a six, while Coulter-Nile also smashed him over midwicket for a six to get 21 runs from the over but Stokes conceded just four in his final over.