Punjab fell short despite Mayank Agarwal's 57 and captain K.L. Rahul's 39. The opening pair put on 91 for the first wicket and Punjab seemed on target for an upset win.

But spinner Yuzvendra Chahal took three key wickets -- Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran and Sarfaraz Khan, for a golden duck -- at a cost of just 29 runs to give Bangalore the advantage.

Punjab needed 27 off the last two overs but bowlers Mohammed Siraj and Harshal Patel kept big hitter Moises Henriques in check as they gave away just 20.

Bangalore, who have yet to win the title, go into the last four with Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals. Kohli said this tournament had seen an "amazing" resurgence by his side.

Bangalore have not reached the playoffs with games to spare in the past decade.

"Eight wins out of 12 games is a great campaign. We have two more opportunities to finish in the top two. That should give us motivation to play even more fearlessly," he said.

Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab, Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians are all in contention for the fourth playoff place.

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