Brad Hodge - 54 from 29 balls
Brad Hodge helped Rajasthan beat Hyderabad by four wickets to send them through to the qualifier where they'll meet Mumbai on Friday.
Chasing 133, on a slow pitch, Rajasthan lost their captain Rahul Dravid for just 12. Ajinkya Rahane and Shane Watson combined forces and put on a 37-run stand for the third wicket. But Watson, who was had five boundaries to his credit, fell for 24.
His dismissal led to a middle-order collapse and Rajasthan lost three wickets in a span of two overs. They struggled at the ten-over mark at 57 for five. Hodge came in at that stage and began his rescue act. He hit just one boundary from the first three overs he faced but thereafter he pumped up the tempo and hit Karan Sharma for two sixes and a four of the 14th over.
Hyderabad captain Cameron White turned to his most economical bowler Amit Mishra, who had conceded just eight from his first three overs, to check the run flow. But Hodge didn't spare Mishra either and hit him for a six over long-off.
Rajasthan lost Sanju Samson an over later but Hodge and James Faulkner rotated the strike regularly to keep their side in the hunt.
Rajasthan needed ten from the last over of the innings and Hodge got them in a hurry. He clobbered the first two balls from Darren Sammy over backward square-leg and long on for six and took his side home. Hodge ended unbeaten on 54 from 29 balls.
"I needed to get a few in the middle and luckily for me I did get some in the middle today," Hodge said. "It was a close contest and that is exactly where you need your experience to get a team over the line. It has been an emotional week for us, an emotional week at the bench and it is a really good result"
Dravid said Hodge's innings was special. "It's the knockout stage so there are no second chances in these kind of games. We needed something special, we were dead and buried, and Brad Hodge provided that. It was one of the finest T20 innings."