With 38 needed in the last 5 overs, Hyderabad were clear favourites, but a half-hearted batting order slipped once again under pressure as Calcutta picked up their fourth win of the season.
With the narrow win, Kolkata also kept their playoff hopes alive as the Sunrisers slumped to their sixth defeat of the season.
Chasing a competitive 172 for victory the Sunrisers got off to a torrid start losing four wickets in the first 7 overs. Skipper Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen then seized his chance and put the chase back on track with an important fifth wicket partnership of 70 runs.
With little to defend in the last 5 overs, the Calcutta bowlers did not give up and continued to go hard against the hosts’ batsmen, bowling tight overs and strangling the Sunrisers’ chase. Ace spinner Varun Chakaravarthy then successfully defended 8 runs in the final for a crucial win.
After Nitish Rana and Rinku Singh built a fruitful 61-run partnership to help Kolkata post 171 for nine, their bowlers, especially Shardul Thakur (2/23) and Vaibhav Arora (2/32), helped the two-time IPL champions limit Sunrisers Hyderabad to 166 for eight from 20 overs.
The win was a hard fought one for KKR, as SRH’s South African skipper pairing Markram (41 from 40 balls) and Klaasen (36 from 20 balls) had at one point been looking to take the match away.
The duo produced character innings but their dismissal in quick succession sealed the fate of the hosts as the next-order batsmen could not go on.
The KKR duo of Rana and Rinku joined the crease at a time when the team was battling it out to 49 for three at the end of the powerplay.
But by the time Rana started in 12th, his 31-ball 42 studded with three fours and an equal number of tops had put the team well on their way to a fighting total.
As wickets continued to fall at the other end, with West Indians Andre Russell and Sunil Narine making little impact, Rinku (46 off 35 balls) reined in his natural instincts and bowled patiently to give the team a decent total to defend.
It was another forgettable start for KKR with opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz unable to recreate the magic of the previous match against Gujarat Titans.
The 21-year-old Afghanistan opener fell on a long ball from South African swift Marco Jansen on the first delivery of the second as he tried to bowl it over the mid-wicket but was a little late and the top edge flew to Harry Brook at half-half.
Venkatesh Iyer started five balls later, becoming Jansen’s second victim when the tall pacer dispatched the short stuff which the KKR batsman tried to hook uncomfortably, only to have it blown up to allow wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen to catch an easy catch.
Indian seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar held on at the other end, conceding just 12 runs in his first two overs as the home side endured yet another poor start.
After bowling two wides and a no-ball, the Uttar Pradesh cricketer got England opener Jason Roy’s big wicket.
Roy’s premeditated cross-bat throw took a big lead and flew to the short third man as Mayank Agarwal took a simple catch.
SRH also got off to a poor start in their pursuit, with KKR speed bowler Harshit Rana once again exposing the fragility of SRH Mayank Agarwal’s opening as he tackled short-range deliveries. Whilst the opener was comfortable playing his shots either side of the wicket, Rana tested him with a delivery hitting 140km/h and leaned towards the body on mid and leg stump.
Mayank played a defensive hook as he tried to get his head out of harm’s way and lobbed the ball for the keeper to take an easy catch.
Soft dismissals from Mayank put the pressure on fragile top-rate SRH again and eight runs later, SRH were reduced to 37 for 2 in the fourth over after Abhishek Sharma also returned to the bench with Russell charging forward to catch a deep hold to the rear to set up a Shardul delivery.
(With inputs from PTI)