A valiant effort by Lance Klusener ( 91) went into vain as Kolkata Tigers lost by seven runs to Lahore Badshahs who moved into the final of the Edelweiss 20s Challenge being played at Tau Devi Lal Stadium, Panchkula on Thursday.After skipper Inzamam-Ul-Haq won the toss and elected to bat first in what appeared to be bowler friendly conditions, Lahore Badshahs were off to a bad start as opener Imran Farhat (0) was trapped lbw by Andre Adams in the first over of the Lahore Badshahs’ innings. Humayun Farhat then joined Imran Nazir and both stepped up the tempo for Badshahs. Nazir first smashed Adams for a boundary in the third over before he smashed a boundary and a towing six off the bowling of Nantie Hayward in next over. Humayun Farhat too came into his stride as he smashed a boundary in the next over before he hit Haywards for a two boundaries and a huge six in the sixth over. Badshahs score read 50 for 1 after six overs as Nazir and Farhat smashed Tigers’ bowlwers all around the park. Upul Chandana was welcomed with a boundary by Farhat in the seventh over before Farhat smashed a four and six off the bowling of Ahmed in the eighth over.
Nazir then hoisted Chandana for a towering six in the next over before Farhat (39) gave a simple catch to Rajiv Kumar at short fine leg off the bowling of Lance Klusener in the tenth over. After ten overs, Lahore Badshahs were 86 for 2 as Nazir was joined by Hasan Raza on the crease. Shibsagar Singh struck in the eleventh over as Hasan Raza(0) gave a simple catch to Rajiv Kumar to make it 88 for 3 in 10.5 overs.Skipper Inzamam-Ul-Haq then joined Nazir as the duo took the score to 94 for 3 before Nazir (42) gave a simple catch to Klusener at short third man off the bowling of Shibsagar Singh to make it 94 for 4 for
Badshahs in 12.5 overs. Haq and Naved Latiff then carried the total to 143 for 4 in 17 overs. Haq first smashed Klusener for a boundary in the 14th over before Latiff hoisted Ahmed for two consecutive sixes in the sixteenth over. Latiff then again smashed a six in the next over before he gave a simple catch to Craig McMillan off the bowling of Klusener in the 18th over. Haq smashed a boundary in the next over before Azhar Mehmood hit a six in the same over. To make it 162 for 5 in 19 overs for Badshahs. Mehmodd stuck two consecutive sixes and a four in the last over before he was caught and bowled by Nantie
Haywards. Naved Ul Hasan then joined Haq as Haq (33) departed on the last ball of the Badshahs’ innings with Badshahs posting 182 for 7 in 20 overs.
Chasing a stiff target of 183 runs in the allotted 20 overs, Tigers were given a flying start by their opners Lance Klusener and Deep Dasgupta as they added 50 runs in the first five overs. Dasgupta started the fireworks for Tigers in the first over as he smashed Naved-Ul-Hasan for a boundary. Klusener followed it with a smashing cover drive for boundary in the third over before Dasgupta hoisted Azhar Mehmood for a towering six in the next over. Klusener then hit
two boundaries in the fifth over bowled by Naved-Ul-Hasan before he smashed two boundaries in the next over bowled by Mohammed Sami. Shaid nazir finally broke the 62-run partnership as he clean bowled Dasgupta (22) in the seventh over. Shibsagar Singh joined Klusener as the duo carried the total to 81 for 1 in ten overs. It was the spin of Mushtaq Ahmed that brought the end to Shibsagar’s innings of 22 in the 11th over. Shaid Nazir then removed Tigers’ skipper Craig McMillan in the next over as McMillan failed to read the line of an incoming delivery making it 94 for 3 in 12.5 overs for Tigers. Tigers completed 100 in 13.4 overs as they needed 83 to win in 39 balls. Lance Klusener hit Sami for a four and a huge six in the same over to raise Tigers; hopes. Klusener then hit Mushtaq Ahmed for a boundary in the 15th over as Tigers needed 63 runs to win from 30 balls. Klusener smashed Sami for two boundaries in the next over as Tigers needed 50 runs off the last four overs. Klusener then hoisted Azhar Mehmood for a towering six in the next over to reduce the margin for Tigers. The 50-run partnership between Klusener and Rohan Gawaskar came in 25 balls.
Mohammed Sami then dropped Lance Klusner as Tigers needed 33 runs to win from13 balls. Tigers made 15 runs in the penultimate over as Tigers needed 18 runs off the last over. Klusener then hoisted Mehmood for a towering six off the second ball of the last over as Tigers needed 11 from 4 balls. But lance Klusener failed to hit any runs off the next two balls as Tigers needed nine runs off the last ball. Sami took a fine catch of Lance Klusener (91) off the last ball as Badshahs won by seven runs to move into final.