A solid all-round performance helped the Knight Riders reach their target of 119 for the loss of only three wickets with 20 balls to spare at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy in Mumbai on Thursday.
Captain Gautam Gambhir (54 off 46) led the chase with a sensible innings, while Yusuf Pathan (29 off 25) and Manoj Tiwary (24 off 24) also contributed with the bat.
Gambhir and Tiwary combined for a 46-run second-wicket stand after Shreevats Goswami (6) fell in the first over.
The skipper, who had elected to bowl earlier in the day, then put on 64 with Pathan as his team saw out an easy chase.
Gambhir’s innings included seven fours which was all that was needed after his bowlers did the job.
Alfonso Thomas, Wayne Parnell and Bhuvneshwar Kumar all picked up a wicket each for the Warriors.
Earlier, no Pune batsmen could build on their good start and some disciplined bowling helped Kolkata restrict them to 7-118.
Jesse Ryder (1) was the first to go off the bowling of Pathan (2-23) and no batsman managed more than Yuvraj Singh’s 24 despite six of the top seven reaching double figures.
Callum Ferguson (16) and Sourav Ganguly (18) put on 27 for the third wicket before the Australian fell.
Ganguly provided the same with Robin Uthappa (12), but they were both gone after 14 overs as Pune were left struggling at 5-79.
Yuvraj and Sachin Rana (18) put on a vital 34-run stand for the sixth wicket, but the total was never going to be enough.
Along with Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan (2-16) and Lakshmipathy Balaji (2-7) were the other multiple wicket-takers.
Gambhir’s sensible innings ensured the Knight Riders moved above the Mumbai Indians and into third on the IPL table with one game to play, while Pune remain second-last.