Chris Lynn's half-century and a fine spell of bowling from young Prasidh Krishna helped Kolkata Knight Riders ease past Sunrisers Hyderabad by five wickets to seal their place in the play-offs in Hyderabad on Saturday.
Opting to bat, hosts SRH were restricted to 172 for nine after a flying start at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. In reply, KKR cruised to 173 for five with two balls to spare to register their third win on the trot and ensure their qualification.
If young medium pacer Prasidh Krishna's three wickets in the last over was highlight of KKR's rally with the ball, openers Chrish Lynn and Sunil Narine's scintillating start, scoring 52 runs in 3.4 overs, headlined the two-time winners' response with the bat.
While Lynn struck a brisk 55 off 43 balls with three sixes and four boundaries, Narine smashed 29 in just 10 to give the visitors a flying start.
Robin Uthappa, who got a life early in his innings, contributed 45 off 34 balls, as the visitors became the third team to qualify for the play-offs after Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers.
There were fours and sixes galore, especially from the willows of Lynn, Narine and Uthappa, as the visiting bowlers struggled to pose any serious challenge to KKR's batsmen.
Though they lost both Lynn and Uthappa when they were going great guns, KKR were never really troubled following that smashing start.
Losing Lynn's wicket pegged back KKR for a while. They required 52 in the last six overs but a six each by skipper Dinesh Karthik and Uthappa brought the equation down to 26 off 24 balls.
Uthappa and Andre Russell departed towards the end, but captain Karthik took responsibility to steer his team to victory.
Earlier, young medium pacer Prasidh Krishna's three wickets in the last over was the highlight of Kolkata Knight Riders' fine comeback as they restricted Sunrisers Hyderabad to 172 for nine.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan top-scored for the hosts with 50 off 39 balls, while skipper Kane Williamson blazed away to 36 in just 17, hitting three sixes in the process.
But KKR, who need a win in their crucial last league game to make the play-offs on their own, staged a fightback as SRH managed just 45 runs in the last 7.1 overs after Williamson's dismissal. The hosts, who have already qualified for the play-offs, were past the 100-run mark in the 11th over.
The 22-year-old Prasidh was the most successful bowler, returning exceptional figures of four for 30 in four overs, including three wickets in a single over.
The Sunrisers were off to a brisk start as Dhawan and Shreevats Goswami (35) added 79 runs in 8.4 overs, an opening record for the home team this season. With his 26-ball 35, Goswami, who has scored a fifty on his IPL debut in the inaugural season, more than made up for Alex Hales' absence.
Dhawan began the SRH innings with a boundary through covers in the first ball of the match and got himself two more off Krishna.
Batting for the first time in this edition of the cash-rich league, Goswami got into the act in style, smashing Andre Russell for 20 runs in the third over.
Two fours and a classy six over extra cover from Goswami and SRH were cruising at 36 for no loss at the end of the third over.
Dhawan lofted Sunil Narine over long-on for a maximum to maintain SRH's healthy run rate, but KKR's last match hero Kuldeep Yadav, after being hit for two boundaries in his first over, castled Goswami with a flighted delivery.
In came the in-form Williamson, and he was off the mark straightaway, with a boundary. The SRH captain smashed Kuldeep over long-on for a six, as SRH crossed the 100-run mark in the 11th over as they looked set for a huge total.
Williamson then smashed medium pacer Javon Searles for two massive sixes over fine leg, off successive balls, much to the delight of the home crowd at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
But the Barbados all-rounder had his revenge when he had the prolific Williamsaon caught at deep point two balls later.
Meanwhile, Dhawan was offered a life on 45 when Narine dropped a sitter, but the left-handed India opener could not capitalise and got out after scoring fifty, losing seven wickets for 31 runs in the last five overs.