Bangalore, who won the toss and elected to field, restricted their opponents to 150-7 in their 20 overs at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
They looked to be cruising to a third successive victory at 116-2 after 15 overs but fell short, with Chris Lynn taking a remarkable catch in the final over to prevent AB de Villiers from hitting a winning six.
Kolkata, the 2012 champions, had a terrible start. Captain Gautam Gambhir departed first ball to record his third consecutive duck in the tournament.
Manish Pandey went in the next over, but Jacques Kallis and young Australian Lynn put on 79 for the third wicket.
Lynn hit three sixes in his 45 from 31 balls before becoming the first of three victims for Varun Aaron, who removed Yusuf Pathan two balls later for zero.
South African veteran Kallis went with the score on 107 in the 16th over, the opener making 43 from 42 balls, but Suryakumar Yadav did his best to boost the total with an unbeaten 24.
|Kolkata Knight Riders: 150-7 (20 Overs)|
|Jacques Kallis||c Yogesh Takawale b Yuzvendra Chahal||43||42||102.38||2||1|
|Gautam Gambhir||lbw Mitchell Starc||0||1||0.00||0||0|
|Manish Pandey||c Virat Kohli b Albie Morkel||5||3||166.66||1||0|
|Chris Lynn||c AB de Villiers b Varun Aaron||45||31||145.16||3||3|
|Yusuf Pathan||c Virat Kohli b Varun Aaron||0||2||0.00||0||0|
|Robin Uthappa||c Mitchell Starc b Varun Aaron||22||18||122.22||0||1|
|Suryakumar Yadav||NOT OUT||24||18||133.33||1||1|
|Vinay Kumar||NOT OUT||4||5||80.00||0||0|
|EXTRAS||(w 4, b 1, lb 2)||7||7||EXTRAS|
In their reply, RCB openers Parthiv Patel and Yogesh Takawale put on 49 without loss in the powerplay.
Both Takawale (40 from 28 balls) and Patel (21 from 19) fell with the score on 78, but key men Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh picked up the mantle.
However, skipper Kohli and Yuvraj both departed for 31—off 23 and 33 balls, respectively—which left nine runs needed off the final over from Vinay Kumar.
After three singles, de Villiers looked like he had won it, only for Lynn to pluck the ball out of the air after slipping. Albie Morkel was unable to find the boundary from the final two balls.
|Bangalore: 148-5 (20 Overs)|
|Parthiv Patel||c Chris Lynn b Vinay Kumar||21||19||110.52||3||0|
|Yogesh Takawale||lbw Jacques Kallis||40||28||142.85||8||0|
|Virat Kohli||b Sunil Narine||31||23||134.78||4||0|
|Yuvraj Singh||c Yusuf Pathan b Umesh Yadav||31||34||91.17||2||1|
|AB de Villiers||c Chris Lynn b Vinay Kumar||11||12||91.66||1||0|
|Albie Morkel||NOT OUT||6||5||120.00||0||0|
|Mitchell Starc||NOT OUT||0||0||0.00||0||0|
|EXTRAS||(nb 1, w 2, lb 5)||8||8|