Blazing knocks of 88 and 51 by Nicky Boje and Stuart Binny respectively helped Hyderabad Heroes inflict a crushing 79-run defeat over Mumbai Champs to ensure a semi-final berth for themselves at the ICL's Twenty20 championship match played in Panchkula on Thursday night.
After posting the highest total (214) in ICL T20's Season 2, the Heroes restricted the Champs to 135 for 6 and barring opener D S Jadhav, who got out on an individual score of 43, no other batsman from the losing side posed any threat.
Even Johann van der Wath's knock of 26 down the order went in vain as Champs lost badly.
Left arm spinner Inder Shekhar Reddy proved the most successful bowler for Heroes taking three wickets.
For Heroes, who tasted their fifth victory in seven matches, Boje and Binny's left-hand and right-hand combination wrecked the Champs bowlers as the two weaved a crucial 94 run partnership for the fifth wicket.
Boje's knock came in just 49 balls and was studded with eight boundaries and five huge sixes while Binny got his runs of 26 balls that included five hits to the fence and three sixes. The Champs bowlers came in for some heavy stick from the two and in particular Avinash Yadav and Van der Wath were the most expensive.
Asked to field first, Mumbai Champs led by Nathan Astle got off to a great start in the field, seeing the back of the dangerous Abdul Razzaq with the first ball of the match.
Jimmy Maher and Amitabh Rayudu got into the repair act right away and took the score to 45 before the latter threw his wicket to a rash shot off the last ball of the fifth over.
Michael Kasprowicz got into the act bringing curtains on a promising innings of 19 runs from Maher.
However, the Heroes' batting depth was on full view and despite the early reversals, were placed at 69 for three at the seventh over scoring at nearly 10 runs per over.
The half way mark of their innings had the defending champions placed at 89 for 4 and yet the Champs failed to apply brakes on the run scoring and allowed Binny and Boje get off the hook. Boje got into the acceleration mode and the pair took the score to 164 at the completion of 15 overs.
After Binny fell to Yadav, Boje ensured his stay till the final over and though Kasprowicz had him bowled out of the penultimate ball of Heroes innings, it was a case of too little too late.
Three days back, the Champs lost by 75 runs to Chennai Superstars, who also had posted a mammoth total of 205 runs.