Kallis sends Kolkata into CLT20 final

The Champions League T20 final will be contested between two Indian Premier League teams, after the Hobart Hurricanes were defeated by seven wickets in the semi-final against the Kolkata Knight Riders.

The IPL champions made hard work of a below-par chase, but South Africa legend Jacques Kallis (54 not out) held his nerve and scored the winning runs in the final over, negating Shoaib Malik’s earlier half century.

The Hurricanes, the only non-IPL side left in the contest, won the toss and chose to bat, and they got off to a poor start. Both Dom Michael and Aiden Blizzard were out for early ducks.

Opener Ben Dunk tried to keep things steady with a neat 39, but the pace was far too slow for much of the game, and they didn’t even have 100 on the board by the 17th over. Malik was their seeming saving grace.

The Pakistan batsman, playing here instead of for Barbados, smacked his 66 not out off 46 balls, including four sixes, as he pushed the score to something defendable. At the other end, Travis Birt, Jonathan Wells, and Evan Gulbis all failed.

So with Kolkata needing 141 to win, they didn’t lose many wickets, but still took their sweet time. Kallis, often criticised for batting too slowly in T20s, did make things a bit more tense than they needed to be,

Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa failed to impress at the top of the order, leaving Kallis and Manish Pandey to score the bulk of the runs. Pandey was by far the quicker batsman, making his 40 off 32 balls.

He was caught by Malik in the 16th over, leaving Kallis to up the pace. The retired Proteas veteran played to the crowds, but in the end smacked a six off the first ball of the final over to end the game.