Hyderabad: Kolkata Knight Riders produced a disciplined bowling display as they beat Auckland Aces by two runs in a thrilling low-scoring Champions League Twenty20 qualifiers match on Monday.
Electing to bat, KKR scored a modest 121 for six after they suffered a batting collapse but their bowlers produced a superb show to restrict Auckland to 119 for six in a match that went down the wire after many twist and turns.
Auckland lost their first wicket in the first ball of their run chase, recovered at 60 for one and then slumped to 61 for four in the 10th over. They were still in for an upset victory but with pressure piling they eventually fell short by two runs at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here.
Auckland needed 11 runs from the last over bowled by Brett Lee but they could score just eight runs. KKR used as many as seven bowlers and all of them did well, either taking wickets or bowling economically. Yusuf Pathan was the picked of the KKR bowlers with figures of 2/21 -- the two wickets coming in the space of three balls.
Rajat Bhatia and captain Jacques Kallis chipped in with a wicket each.
KKR fielding also rose to the occasion with two crucial run outs.
Auckland run chase began on a disastrous note with Martin Guptill run out in the very first ball of the innings bowled by Iqbal Abdulla.
Adams played towards midwicket and Guptill wanted a single but Ryan ten Doeschate's throw was quick enough for wicketkeeper Manvinder Bisla to removed the bails.
Auckland, however, recovered quickly and Vincent struck Iqbal Abdulla for a six and a four to take 11 runs from the third over.
Vincent then smashed Jaidev Unadkat for three fours from successive balls as Auckland raced to 42 for one after five overs.
Just as it seemed Auckland had taken control of the match, KKR made a dramatic fightback as they snared three wickets in the space of four balls with Yusuf Pathan taking two of them.
In the last ball of the ninth over bowled by Rajat Bhatia, Vincent was run out as Manoj Tiwary made a lightning throw from the covers for wicketkeeper Bisla to remove the bails before the batsman could reach his crease. Vincent's 40 came from 37 balls and studded with six fours and one six.
From the the next ball, the first of the 10th over, Pathan had Andre Adams caught and bowled for 18 and two balls later he dismissed Robert Quiney in a similar fashion for a duck.
Auckland lost three wickets for just one run as they were reduced to 61 for four from 60 for one.
In the 13th over, Rajat Bhatia removed Gareth Hopkins (10) from his last ball with Kallis taking a catch at midwicket region as Auckland were reduced to 77 for five.
Auckland needed 22 from the last two overs with five wickets in hand and Kallis removed Colin Munro with the first ball of the 19th over.
Adams hit a six off Kallis, who conceded 11 runs of the penultimate over. The New Zealand side needed 11 off the final over but the experienced Lee denied them any boundary as KKR won the match by two runs.
Earlier, KKR suffered a dramatic batting collapse after a strong start as they scored 121 for six.
Electing to bat, KKR made a breezy start with Jacques Kallis (33) and Manvinder Bisla (45) raising 73 runs for the opening stand before their side slumped to 106 for six in the 18th over at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here.
KKR lost five wickets in eight overs for the addition of 33 runs, with Kyle Mills taking two wickets -- of Kallis and Manoj Tiwari (1) -- in the space of four balls in 15th over.
Just an over earlier, Yusuf Pathan's struggle at the crease ended as he was cleanbowled by Andre Adams for just 12.
Ryan ten Doeschate was run out for three in 16th over and Shakib Al-Hasan (4) met with the same fate two overs later.
Earlier, Kallis and Bisla made a strong start and raised hopes for a big total.
Bisla showed his aggressive intent by hitting three fours off Chris Martin as he took 13 runs from the second over. He then smote Mills for a six in the next.
Kallis joined in with two fours off Adams in the sixth over as KKR scored at a brisk pace with at least a boundary every over and run rate at eight.
Bisla, however, fell in the 10th over while trying to work a full toss off Michael Bates from off stump to the leg side only to get a leading edge that lands at the hands of Guptill at the cover region. His 32-ball 45 had seven fours and one six.
Kallis was out in the 16th over with a bit drama involved. He hoicked Mills off the pads and it seemed set for six. Robert Quiney, who was prowling in the deep, ran back and tumbled to the right to take a catch, a few feet in front of the ropes.
Kallis can't believe it though he was on his way to pavilion after asking the fielder whether it was a clean catch or not. His 33 came from 35 balls and studded with four fours.