Kolkata: Spinner Kuldeep Yadav grabbed 4-20 and earned Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) an important six-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Tuesday.
Yadav, a left-arm spinner, mopped up the top order with a wicket in each of his four overs to bowl out RR for 142 in 19 overs.
Opener Chris Lynn then anchored KKR to 144-4 with 45 off 42 balls, putting match-winning 48-run partnership with captain Dinesh Karthik, who made an unbeaten 31.
KKR stayed in the No. 3 spot with 14 points and will meet Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last league match.
"They started off brilliantly but it shows our character. When we got a chance in the game, we didn't let go," Karthik said. "He's (Kuldeep Yadav) an international quality player ... sometimes he slacks off, bowls a bad ball, trying too much so I'm just trying to make him do as well as he can and stay consistent."
RR are at No. 4 with 12 points and will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last game.
After being put into bat, RR should have lost the wicket off the first ball from seamer Shivam Mavi but Nitish Rana couldn't hold on to a sharp chance of Rahul Tripathi (27) in the slip.
Tripathi pounced on the chance and smashed fast bowler Prasidh Krishna for a six and three successive boundaries in the next over.
RR's man in form Jos Buttler (38), who had scored five successive half centuries, then blazed Mavi for 28 runs with two sixes and four boundaries in the third over.
And when Sunil Narine went for 10 runs, RR had a rollicking start of 59 runs in four overs.
Andre Russell (2-13) stemmed the flow of runs when Tripathi gloved a catch to Karthik off a short pitched delivery.
Yadav then got two crucial wickets as skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Buttler both went while going for reverse sweep shots.
Narine successfully won a television lbw referral against Sanju Samson (11) before Yadav had Ben Stokes caught off his own bowling in his last over as RR slipped to 107-7 in the 14th over.
Jaydev Unadkat hit 26 off 18 balls and lifted the total before he was the last man to be dismissed, clean bowled by Krishna (2-35) off a slower delivery.
Narine gave KKR a brisk start when he smashed off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham for two sixes and two fours off the first four deliveries.
Ben Stokes (3-15) chipped in with three wickets that included the scalp of Lynn in his return spell.
But Karthik ensured KKR strolled to victory with Russell smashing three fours and a winning six over long-on off Jofra Archer.
"It was important to pick wickets (but) unfortunately we got only 142 on the board," Rahane said. "We still have a chance to make the playoffs. Last game is in Jaipur and we know that ground well."