This match, one that the Sunrisers Hyderabad absolutely needed to win, was all about Yusuf Pathan, the Yusuf Pathan who sent the pulses racing a few years ago with his ridiculous hitting and ability to just tonk sixes for fun.
This match was about the Kolkata Knight Riders, taking the challenge of hauling down a target of 161 in 15.2 overs in some style and a lot of luck.
This match was about taking your chances and running with it, not dropping them -- and boy did the Sunrisers drop them -- and floundering in no man's land.
In a ridiculously enthralling IPL 2014 encounter, KKR pulled off an incredible four-wicket win over the Sunrisers Hyderbad to book their place in the top two and give them that opportunity of having two cracks at making the IPL 2014 final.
Needing to chase down a total of 161 in 15.2 overs to better the net run rate of the Chennai Super Kings in the battle for the second spot, the Knight Riders put to shade the main men of King Arthur, with Pathan (72, 22b, 5x4, 7x6) playing an innings of unbelievable speed and belligerence to take his side over the line in just 14.2 overs.
Both teams needed to pick up a big win to reach their respective goals -- SRH to finish in the top four and KKR to take the second spot -- but it was the Knight Riders who just showed the better big match nous as SRH fumbled and tumbled in the field, buckling under the pressure, with even the likes of Dale Steyn showing their fallibilities.
Robin Uthappa got his customary 40-or over knock at the top to set the game up for his big hitters, with fellow opener and skipper Gautam Gambhir (28, 18b, 4x4, 1x6) also giving his side a flying start as KKR went for the Sunrisers' jugular.
A decent 49 runs were taken off the first six Powerplay overs, with the fall of just Gambhir's wicket to show for SRH. The best thing to happen to KKR was Manish Pandey's dismissal, as it brought Pathan to the crease in the eighth over. The match might have looked completely different, of course, had SRH hung onto their catches, with Srikkanth Aniruddha, a strange selection to begin with, dropping an absolute sitter at deep midwicket which would have seen Pathan walk off first ball.
The slugger made full use of that life, and another one from Steyn as well, with the right-hander just going absolutely and amazingly boundary crazy to knock the stuffing out of the Sunrisers, and then some.
From an improbable chase, when KKR were on 78 for four after 10 overs, after losing two quickfire wickets of Uthappa (41, 30b, 4x4, 2x6) and Ryan Ten Doeschate, it all turned into an unbelievable spectacle of "what on earth is going on" as Pathan's jaw-dropping blitz saw KKR home.
Earlier, the Sunrisers rather limped their way to 160 for seven, with no particular batsman able to make that big score which would have given them an opportunity of overhauling the Rajasthan Royals' net run rate.
Once the in-form David Warner fell in the second legal delivery of the innings to Morne Morkel, the writing was pretty much on the wall, with cameos from Darren Sammy and Jason Holder not able to get over the fact that the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Naman Ojha and Venugopal Rao just took too many balls to settle down, when a slam-bang-get-that-ball-over-the-boundary-line plan was more in order.