Young Punjab batsman Mandeep Singh kept his cool under pressure as his breathtaking 18-ball 45 helped Royal Challengers Bangalore pip Kolkata Knight Riders by seven wickets in a thrilling Indian Premier League match, in Bangalore, on Saturday.
In a rain-hit tie reduced to 10-overs-per side, KKR posted 111 for four courtesy Andre Russell's 17-ball-45 but it was Mandeep's exhilarating effort that saw Virat Kohli's boys romp home with two balls to spare.
Mandeep's knock contained four boundaries and three sixes with the last two maximums coming off successive deliveries from Andre Russell's last over where RCB required 13 runs.
With nine required from the last four balls, Mandeep ended the match in grand style with back to back sixes off Russell, slashing the third ball of the final over point for a six and pulled the next over deep fine leg for the same result.
At the end of the eighth over, RCB required 26 from two overs with their top batsmen -- Chris Gayle (21 from nine balls), captain Kohli (34 from 20 balls) along with AB de Villiers (2) back in the dug-out.
It was the fifth and sixth deliveries off the penultimate over bowled by Umesh Yadav that turned the match head on. Mandeep played a delicate lap shot over short fine leg off the fifth delivery of the ninth over while the next went for boundary fine on the off-side as he got a thick outside edge.
The win took RCB to nine points which saw them rise to fourth position.
Earlier, it was another cracker of a knock from Russell that enabled KKR to post a more than competitive total as launched a furious assault on bowlers in the final few overs.
Once Gautam Gambhir (12) was out trying to clear mandeep Singh at point off David Wiese, it was smart move by the team think-tank to promote Russell up the order.
Gambhir and Robin Uthappa got their team to a brisk start adding 33 for the first wicket and that precisely was the platform that Russell needed.
The Jamaican all-rounder, who has had a good tournament so far picked up the profligate Varun Aaron for some special treatment as he hit him for two sixes and a four in the sixth over. The first six was over deep midwicket and the second was straight down the ground, over the sightscreen.
The next over bowled by leg-break bowler Yuzvendra Chahal saw him hitting two boundaries but the shot of the innings certainly was the square cut that bisected the point and cover fielder with precision.
Along with Uthappa, Russell whacked the RCB bowlers for 38 runs in only three overs before Uthappa was caught in the leg side by wicketkeeper Karthik off Chahal as he top edged the slog sweep.
When Russell hit Wiese for his third six, it seemed that he could break Harbhajan Singh's record for the season of fastest 50 (off 19 balls) as he had reached 45 off 17 balls. However, a smart pick and throw from Dinesh Karthik saw him short of crease as Russell tried to steal a quick bye and get back on strike.
By then, Russell had done enough to prop up KKR's score and the likes of Ryan ten Doeschate and Yusuf Pathan also had their share of a six each to take KKR to a respectable 111 for four.
The start of the match was delayed by more than two hours and 45 minutes because of heavy rain which started after the toss, which was won by RCB captain Kohli. The match was reduced to 10 overs per side because of the long delay.