Promising batsman Shubman Gill smashed his maiden Indian Premier League half-century while Sunil Narine produced an all-round performance to guide Kolkata Knight Riders to a comfortable six-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings, in Kolkata, on Thursday.
Nitish Rana's lower back spasm gave Gill a chance to bat at No. 4 and the Under-19 World Cup winning batsman grabbed the opportunity with both hands, scoring a top-class unbeaten 57 off 36 balls to power KKR to an convincing victory, with 14 balls to spare.
Gill shared an unbroken fifth wicket partnership of 83 runs from 36 balls with skipper Dinesh Karthik, who slammed a quickfire 45 not out from just 18 balls. The victory took KKR -- 10 points from nine matches -- to the third spot ahead of Kings XI Punjab on net run rate.
Earlier, KKR spinners impressed with Narine leading from the front before Mahendra Singh Dhoni's unbeaten 43 propped CSK's total to 177 for five.
Narine returned with impressive figures of two for 20, while Piyush Chawla grabbed two for 35 as the duo bowled 22 dot balls in the middle overs to restrict CSK to their second lowest total after they had crossed 200-plus four times this season.
Narine also chipped in with the bat with a quickfire 32 off 20 balls as their fielding also hurt CSK big time with Ravindra Jadeja, one of the safest fielders, dropping the left-hander twice while he was on six.
Chris Lynn gave KKR a flying start smashing Lungi Ngidi for consecutive sixes but the young South African pacer won the battle, dismissing the Aussie with a faint inside-edge.
In their chase of a seemingly par target of 178, KKR suddenly found themselves in a spot of bother with KM Asif reducing the hosts to 40 for two inside five overs as Robin Uthappa was dismissed for six.
But then came in Gill and the talented 18-year-old made it look easy with his classical array of strokes all around the Eden Gardens.
Midway into their chase, the battle was evenly poised with KKR on 90 for three, the same as CSK after 10 overs.
Rinku Singh (16) too got out cheaply and failed to make use of the opportunity in absence of the injured Rana but that hardly mattered as the day belonged to Gill.
KKR turned the game in 15th over bowled by Asif, who gave away 21 runs to reduce the equation to 37 from 30 balls.
Gill smashed Asif for two sixes on both sides off the pitch before skipper Karthik ended it on a high with a third six.
Earlier, CSK's inspirational captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's late flourish boosted his side after they struggled to get going in the middle overs.
It was skipper Dhoni, who once again propped up the total with an unbeaten 43 from 25 balls that included four sixes and a four.
Narine returned with impressive figures of two for 20, while Piyush Chawla grabbed two for 35 as the duo bowled 22 dot balls between them in the middle overs to keep CSK's batting in check after the Chennai outfit had crossed 200-plus totals four times this season.
Young pacer Shivam Mavi also impressed with his pace and bounce during but went wicketless giving away 21 runs from three overs as CSK scored bulk of their runs against veteran Australian left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson who leaked 51 runs from his four overs.
Against the batting firepower of CSK, it was a tidy KKR bowling that was on display after Dinesh Karthik opted to chase.
In a battle between two ageing Aussies, it was Shane Watson (36) who impressed up front against KKR pace spearhead Johnson who leaked 10 and 19 runs from his first two overs.
But thankfully for KKR, youngster Mavi put the brakes from the other end showing superb control with his pace and was not afraid to pitch the ball short against CSK's opening duo of Watson and Faf du Plessis (27).
Mavi just gave away 11 runs from his two overs as CSK were in a spot of bother before Watson helped the visitors score 57 for one after six overs.
Chawla made the breakthrough, with his first ball as he cleaned up the South African skipper with a googly, and after that CSK batsmen struggled against KKR spin trio with Narine standing tall.
Dinesh Karthik used Narine wisely, first introducing him in the Powerplay, followed by two overs in the middle overs and one at the end.
Narine's 11th and 15th overs were crucial as the Trinidadian dismissed his Watson (36) for the seventh time in T20 matches and also removed Rayudu (21), the two leading run getters of CSK.
Suresh Raina (31) also failed to score big before as he was dismissed by Kuldeep Yadav. It was then left to Captain Dhoni to finish CSK's innings on a high.
Raina, however, achieved a personal milestone becoming the leading rungetter with 4776 runs in IPL history, surpassing Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli (4767).