Pune ended second-bottom of the tournament last year and had a mixed start this season under the captaincy of Steve Smith, who was working with legendary wicket-keeper MS Dhoni in his ranks.
Pune's record buy Ben Stokes made all the difference as the England all-rounder's showing with the bat and ball was instrumental in the side clinching a play-off berth with nine wins from 14 games.
But the team proved in the first qualifier against Mumbai that they are so much more than just Stokes after teenage spinner Washington Sundar turned out to be the unlikely hero with match-winning figures of 3/16 from his four overs, dismissing Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu.
Sundar's performance made up for Stokes' absence as he returned to England ahead of the Champions Trophy before the knockout stages.
But they looked destined for victory when they reduced Mumbai to 79/7 thanks to wickets from Jaydev Unadkat and Adam Zampa, who got rid of Sharma and Pollard in the same over.
However, Krunal Pandaya dragged the Indians back into the game with 47 from 38 balls to post a total of 129/8 - just enough for the bowlers to have something to defend.
And they did so magnificently, although when Smith and Ajinkya Rahane set at 71/1, the game looked beyond them.
The comeback was triggered by an unreal catch from Pollard, running in from long-on to send Rahane on his way, and reinforced by Karn Sharma, who bowled 24 leg-breaks for just 18 runs.
The death bowling of Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah and Mitchell Johnson then proved too much for Pune, as the Australian ensured they could not manage 11 off the last over to give Mumbai a stunning victory, with captain Rohit Sharma paying tribute to the collective nature of the performance.
"Individual brilliance can win you a few games, but what is required to win this championship is team unity, team work and intelligence," Sharma said.
"We've never relied on one individual to win us the game.
“Today was the perfect example.
“The bowling unit came in together.
“Again, we have got a few youngsters, a few inexperienced players and a few legends in our bowling unit.
“It was a combination of both, and we gelled quite nicely.
“We mixed it up nicely."