Bowlers seal semi-final slot for Tigers
Kolkata Tigers 168 for 5 (McMillan 50, Jhunjhunwala 33, Maddy 32) beat Hyderabad Heroes 115 (Razzaq 37, Tarafdar 3-20, Klusener 3-26) by 53 runs
An inspired over from fast-medium bowler Sujay Tarafdar, in which he took three wickets, was a jolt that the Hyderabad Heroes couldn't recover from as they tried chasing 169 in what was a must-win game for both teams to qualify for the semi-finals.
The Tigers had been put in by Inzamam-ul-Haq, the Heroes captain, and got off to a steady but slow start, with 22 runs off the first five overs. Kaushik Reddy was then carted for 16 in the sixth, as the Tigers began gaining momentum.
After Darren Maddy fell for a run-a-ball 32, it was the 72-run stand between Abhishek Jhunjhunwala and captain Craig McMillan that ensured the Tigers got to a competitive score. Sixty runs came between the 14th and 17th overs. McMillan finished with 50 off 35, well supported by Jhunjhunwala's 33 and Lance Klusener's 24 as the Tigers posted 168. Abdul Razzaq was the pick of the bowlers for the Heroes, with 1 for 13 off his four.
Nantie Hayward struck twice in his opening burst, removing Ibrahim Khaleel for 1, and then bagging the big wicket of Inzamam-ul-Haq as the Heroes faltered in the chase. However, it was the second over, when Tarafdar scalped Shashank Nag, Nicky Boje and Chris Harris, that turned the game.
From then on, the Heroes could have only hoped to rebuild their innings and strike with some big-hitting towards the end. Ambati Rayudu scored an un-Twenty20 14 off 16 balls, but it was the Pakistani pair of Abdul Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood that posed a threat for the Tigers.
However, both fell in one Klusener over as they tried to up the ante. Their dismissals left the Heroes with almost no chance of going through to the semi-finals, and the Tigers duly completed a deserved 53-run win.
The result means that two of the tournament's biggest draws - Brian Lara and Inzamam-ul-Haq - will play in the fifth-place play-off on Saturday, while the Tigers face the Chennai Superstars in the semi-final on Friday.