Sunrisers Hyderabad successfully defended a score for the fourth time in four to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by five runs and move two points clear of the Chennai Super Kings at the top of the IPL 11 table.
Despite a surprisingly sloppy showing by Sunrisers' high standards - managing only 146 batting first and dropping three catches in RCB's run-chase - their much-vaunted bowling attack once again inspired them to victory.
RCB were seemingly cruising to a much-needed win to keep them in playoff contention when they were well-placed at 74-2 in the 10th over, but the departure of captain Virat Kohli (39 off 30) saw the team lose their way in the second-half of their innings.
Kohli was one of four wickets to fall for 24 runs in the middle overs, which also included the key strike of AB de Villiers - bowled by Rashid Khan (1-31) - and England's Moeen Ali, out for 10 on his IPL debut.
Colin de Grandhomme (33 off 29) had seemingly swung the momentum back in RCB's favour when, with 39 runs required from the final four overs, he muscled star legspinner Rashid for back-to-back sixes over deep midwicket.
De Grandhomme then survived a very close stumping in the same Rashid over, but Sunrisers' death-bowling specialists Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-27) and Siddarth Kaul (1-25) conspired to concede only 19 runs from the final three overs - De Grandhomme failing to hit the six needed for victory from the final ball.
Sunrisers move clear of Chennai at the top of the IPL 11 table with eight wins in 10, including four from four when batting first, while RCB are struggling in sixth - four points behind the Kolkata Knight Riders in the final playoff spot, with four games to go.
Earlier, given Sunrisers' success when defending totals, Kohli made the somewhat surprising decision to put them into bat first after winning the toss, but the call certainly brought with it immediate rewards as they reduced their Hyderabad hosts to 48-3 in 8.2 overs.
Tim Southee (3-30) bowled England opener Alex Hales (5), Mohammed Siraj (3-25) had Shikhar Dhawan (13) out caught by Southee at fine leg and Yuzvendra Chahal (1-25) claimed Manish Pandey (5) cheaply at cover.
Sunrisers skipper Kane Williamson (56 off 39), however, was serenely on his way through to a fifth half century in this year's tournament, and he finally received some support in out in the middle from Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan (35 off 32).
But, just as the pair were seemingly set to launch in the final five overs, both departed in quick succession as a flurry of late wickets saw the home side dismissed for 146 off the final ball of their 20 overs.
In reply, Parthiv Patel got RCB off to a pacey start as he struck 20 off 13 balls, and Kohli picked up the mantle thereafter - though he, Manan Vohra and De Villiers were all dropped in a three-over spell.
Kaul put down Vohra - a bad drop at deep midwicket - Sandeep Sharma failed to claw in a difficult return catch served up by De Villiers off his own bowling, while the normally safe pair of hands of Williamson put down Kohli at slip on 33.
But, the missed chances weren't to prove too costly and when Kohli fell to a leading edge off Shakib, and De Villiers departed five balls later, the result was cast into doubt.
Moeen cracked two fours in a seven-ball stay at the crease before inside-edging Kaul behind, bringing the big-hitting De Grandhomme to the crease. He and Mandeep Singh (21no off 23) did their best to knock off the required runs but, in the face of some superb Sunrisers bowling, they fell short.
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