Skipper Gautam Gambhir led from the front with a responsible half century as Kolkata Knight Riders beat Delhi Daredevils by six wickets in the Indian Premier League on Monday.
Delhi boy Gambhir (60 off 49 balls) mixed aggression with caution to hold the innings together and set up the victory for the title holders, who reached 147 for four with 11 balls to spare in reply to a modest 146 for 8 posted by the Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
Romping home for their third win in four matches, the Knights move up to third spot in the table, with Delhi one place behind with two victories in five outings.
After a cautious start, Gambhir executed some classy shots all around the park, but at the same time rotated the strike with well-run singles through measured nudges and pushes.
Gambhir was involved in a 31-run stand with opener Robin Uthappa (13) before the wicketkeeper-batsman and Manish Pandey (0) fell to pacer Domnic Muthuswami (two for 18) in the fifth over.
Suryakumar Yadav (24) and Gambhir brought the chase back on track with a 48-run partnership, as Kolkata reached 79/2 at the halfway stage.
Yadav departed immediately after, but Yousuf Pathan (40* off 26 balls) teamed up with Gambhir to nip in the bud whatever hopes Delhi had of making a match of it.
The duo added 65 runs off only 47 balls, and separated only when the visitors were three short of victory.
Gambhir tried to cut Imran Tahir, and ended up inside edging on to his leg stump.
Ryan ten Doeschate (3 not out) picked up the winning runs by working the ball to deep backward square.
Earlier, put in to bat, Daredevils batsmen failed to convert good starts into big knocks as the Knights' bowlers came to the party.
The home side lost opener Mayank Agarwal (1) and number three J.P. Duminy (5) cheaply, before the other opener Shreyas Iyer (31 off 24) and Manoj Tiwary (32 off 28) steadied the ship with a 36-run partnership.
But just when it seemed Iyer was shaping up for a big score, he was foxed by a straight one from leg spinner Piyush Chawla.
The next wicket stand between Tiwary and Yuvraj Singh also looked promising, even though there was never any free flow of runs, as the hosts reached 69 for 3 at the halfway stage.
But after the duo had put on 37, Tiwary failed to negotiate a short ball from Morne Morkel and ended up giving an easy catch to short mid wicket.
Delhi were 95 for four in the 14th over.
Yuvraj (21) departed soon after and Delhi added 43 runs in the last five overs, with Kolkata bowler Sunil Narine leaking 12 and 20 runs in the 17th and 19th over of the innings.
Man-of-the-match Umesh Yadav, who had gone wicketless until then, saw double success in the last over, giving away only three runs.
He finished with impressive figures of 2 for 18. Chawla (2 for 27) and Morkel (2 for 30) were the other successful bowlers.