Manish Pandey scored 94 off 50 balls as the Kolkata Knight Riders pipped Kings XI Punjab to the Indian Premier League title with three wickets in hand in Bengaluru.
Earlier, Wriddhiman Saha struck a wonderful unbeaten century to blast the Kings XI Punjab to 199-4, with David Miller, batting at No6 in the order, only facing one ball, off which he took a single.
Saha ended on 155 not out off a mere 55 balls with 10 fours and eight sixes as he tore Kolkata’s bowling attack apart.
Manan Vohra and Saha combined for a rollicking 129-run third-wicket stand after Punjab, after being asked to bat, found themselves in early trouble as they slipped to 30-2 inside six overs with Virender Sehwag (7) and George Bailey (1) both dismissed.
Opening batsman Vohra more than played his part in the partnership as he helped himself to 67 runs off 52 deliveries with six fours and two sixes before he was caught and bowled by legspinner Piyush Chawla in the 18th over.
Glenn Maxwell (0) was dismissed in the same over but the double-strike did little half Saha’s onslaught with the right-handed batsman bringing up his first T20 century off 49 balls.
Punjab had looked behind in the contest as they scored just 58 runs off the first 10 overs of their innings but Saha and Vohra upped the ante when they hammered 19 runs off the 14th over, bowled by mystery spinner Sunil Narine, and 20 runs off the 15th over, bowled by Morne Morkel.
Chawla ended with 2-44 while Narine had a match to forget as his four overs cost 46 runs.
At no stage during the chase of a daunting target did the Knight Riders fall far behind the asking rate, which was 10 per over at the start. Pandey watched Robin Uthappa drive the first ball of the innings to the extra-cover boundary and then perish off the fourth, and when he took strike for the next delivery, Pandey whipped a short of a length offering from Johnson through midwicket with perfect timing. Knight Riders took 10 off the first over and Pandey said later, after the game, that he had realised then how to go about the challenge.