AHMEDABAD: Defending champion Hydearbad Heroes pulled off a three-wicket win with three balls to spare over Royal Bengal Tigers in the second semifinal of the ICL Twenty-20 cricket championship at Sardar Patel Stadium (Navrangpura) here on Tuesday night.

Chasing 162 in 20 overs, Heroes coach Steve Rixon’s gamble of shuffling the batting order seemed to have misfired at one stage. But, thanks to Stuart Binny’s breezy knock (45, 26 balls, 2 x4, 4 x 6), it romped home to ensure a repeat clash with Lahore Badshahs in the best of three finals with the first one scheduled on Thursday.

Lance Klusener struck twice in the sixth over removing openers Jimmy Maher (14) and Ibrahim Khaleel (32). Soon Ambati Rayudu (14) and Abdul Razzaq (26) departed in quick succession to reduce Heroes to 89 for four in 11.2 overs. But the Heroes stayed cool under pressure to wrap up a win.

Earlier, Royal Bengal Tigers recovered from a precarious 10 for three to post a challenging 161 for four thanks to the brilliance of the 37-year-old Lance Klusener (78 not out, 54 balls, 4 x 4, 4 x 6) and Rohan Gavaskar (74, 47 balls, 6 x 4, 4 x 6).

TKlusener and Rohan put on 145 runs for the fourth wicket in 94 balls.

The scores: semifinal: Royal Bengal Tigers 164 for four in 20overs (Lance Klusener 78 not out, Rohan Gavaskar 74) lost to Hyderabad Heroes 162 for seven in 19.3 overs (Ibrahim Khaleel 32, Stuart Binny 45).

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