Hyderabad: Kolkata Knight Riders fought back to beat Auckland Aces by two runs in a thriller to register their first win in the Champions League Qualifiers in Hyderabad on Monday.
Brett Lee delivered an excellent final over, conceding eight when Auckland needed eleven to win, with Kyle Mills and Andre Adams unable to get the New Zealanders over the line.
Chasing a modest total of 122, the team from New Zealand finished at 119 for six in their allotted 20 overs.
Chasing a modest total of 122, Aces finished at 119 for six in their allotted 20 overs.
Auckland at one time were cruising at 60 for two but suffered a batting collapse similar to Kolkata and were reduced to five for 77.
Yusuf Pathan took two wickets in an over to rock Auckland Aces' run chase. Pathan scalped Jimmy Adams (18) and Rob Quiney (0) in the tenth over soon after Aces lost Lou Vincent (40) in the previous over.
Aces' run chase got off to a disastrous start as they lost Martin Guptill of the very first ball but Vincent and Adams compiled a 59-run stand to lead Auckland Aces' run chase only to be hit back by some wonderful slow bolwing by Knight Riders.
Earlier, Auckland Aces put up an inspired performance to restrict Kolkata Knight Riders to mere 121 for six in their allotted 20 overs. Kolkata got off to a breezy start with openers Manvinder Bisla and Jacques Kallis hitting the Auckland bowlers to all parts of the park.
But once Bisla departed, the team from New Zealand clawed back into the match to reduce Kolkata from 78 for one to 98 for 5.
Andre Adamas first clean bowled Yusuf Pathan and in the next over Robert Quiney took a superb diving catch at deep mid-wicket to dismiss Kallis (33) off Kyle Mills.
Mills struck again three balls later when he clean bowled Manoj Tiwary and in the next over Jimmy Adams ran out Ryan ten Doeschate with a direct hit.
Runs started to dry up for KKR as Auckland Aces tightened the noose. Rajat Bhatia and Shreevats Goswami stitched up a partnership for the seventh to take the Kolkata side past three figures.