Famed Hyderabad’s bowling line-up led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar with three wickets, proved too good for the KKR batsmen, who failed to put up a fight to finish at 140/8 in their 20 overs.
Chasing 163, KKR were off an identical start as Hyderabad losing in-form opener Robin Uthappa (11) cheaply before skipper Gautam Gambhir (28) and all-rounder Colin Munroe (16) took the team to 46/1 in the powerplay.
Gambhir and Munroe batted sensibly to put on 38 runs for the second wicket before the New Zealander perished to a silly run out off a sensational throw from Yuvraj Singh.
Playing at his home ground, Gambhir failed to read the bounce of the Kotla track as he miscued a short delivery from Ben Cutting.
With KKR needing 99 from the last 10 overs, the team landed in further trouble as incoming batsman Yusuf Pathan (2) fell to a beautiful running catch from Bhuvneshwar Kumar off Moises Henriques.
Next in Manish Pandey (36) and Suryakumar Yadav (23) batted sensibly to take the team past the 100-run mark by the 14th over.
Yadav, who survived a scare on 15, when pacer Mustafizur Rahman dropped him at the third man boundary, could add only eight runs before a brilliant running catch from Shikhar Dhawan off Henriques ended the 46-run fifth wicket stand.
Requiring 39 from the last three, Pandey, in his attempt to cope with the growing run-rate fell to a miscued shot off Bhuvneshwar after adding only 10 runs with Rajagopal Sathish (8).
With hopes of reaching the second qualifier fading, West Indian Jason Holder (6) joined Sathish but the duo could do little as Bhuvneshwar packed them off in the last over.
Tailenders Sunil Narine and Morne Morkel failed to trouble the scores as the side fell short by 22 runs to bow out of the cash-rich tournament.
For Hyderabad, Bhuvneshwar was the wrecker-in-chief with three wickets while Henriques took two. Cutting and Barinder Sran chipped in with a wicket each.
Earlier, KKR restricted Sunrisers to 162/8 after sending them to bat.
Kuldeep Yadav put up yet another impressive show with three wickets to break the backbone of the Sunrisers batting, who were off to a disappointing start.
Yuvraj (44) and Henriques (31) top-scored for Hyderabad after the side lost the key wicket of in-form opener Dhawan (10) cheaply.
After losing Dhawan, skipper David Warner (28), who was dropped by Pathan in the fifth over, resurrected the innings with incoming batsman Henriques to take the team to 43/1 in the powerplay.
Both the Australians pounced on the easy offerings from the KKR bowlers to raise a 59-run stand for the second wicket before Henriques was brilliantly caught and bowled by Yadav.
With Hyderabad struggling at 71/3 after 10 overs, incoming batsmen Yuvraj and Deepak Hooda (21) took the attack to the opposition with some glorious shots to take the team past the 100-run mark at the start of the 15th over.
The left-right combination went on milking runs at will before the Haryana batter threw away his wicket to a silly run-out ending the 49-run fourth wicket stand.
Coming in next, Aussie all-rounder Cutting failed to trouble the scorers as Yadav packed him with the first ball of his second spell to be beautifully stumped by Uthappa.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Naman Ojha (7) then joined Yuvraj in the middle and the duo added a quickfire 21 runs for the sixth wicket before the Punjab southpaw was clean bowled by Jason Holder.
All-rounder Bipul Sharma (14) hit a couple of lusty sixes off Morne Morkel in the final over to take Hyderabad to 162/8.
For KKR, Yadav was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets while Holder and Morkel chipped in with two wickets each.
The Sunrisers will now take on Gujarat Lions in the second qualifier on Friday for a place in Sunday’s final against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 162/8 (Yuvraj Singh 44, Moises Henriques 31, David Warner 28, Kuldeep Yadav 3/35) vs Kolkata Knight Riders 140/8 (Manish Pandey 36, Gautam Gambhir 28, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3/19, Moises Henriques 2/19)