Former South African all-rounder Lance Klusener's rollicking knock of 91 went in vain as Lahore Badshahs stormed into the final, scoring a seven-run win over Kolkata Tigers in the second semi-final of the ICL Twenty20 tournamentin Panchkula on Thursday.
The Inzamam-ul Haq-led Badshahs will meet Hyderabad Heroes in the first final, in Panchkula on Friday.
Chasing a massive target of 183, Klusener, who was dropped by Mohammad Sami in the 48th over, kept his team in the reckoning until the end.
Needing 18 runs off the last over, he single-handedly almost took away the match from Badshahs, who are undefeated in the tournament.
Klusener's 57-ball knock was studded with 11 boundaries and three sixes.
With eight needed off the last ball, man-of-the-match Klusener tried to hoist one over the rope, but ended up being caught by Imran Nazir off the bowling of Azhar Mehmood.
Earlier, Badshahs lost opener Imran Farhat for a duck, but Nazir (42), Humayun Farhat (39) and Inzamam (33) played good knocks up the order to post 182 for seven in their allotted 20 overs.
However, it was a blitzkrieg from Naveed Latif (27 of 17 balls) and Azhar Mehmood (24 of 8 balls) that helped the Badshahs attain the challenging total.
Shahid Nazir was the pick of bowlers for Badshahs, finishing with figures of 4-0-2-12, while Klusener also took two wickets for Tigers.
Deep Dasgupta (22) and Rohan Gavaskar (23) made useful contributions for the Tigers.
Later, talking to reporters, Klusener said he was happy with his effort, but a win for his team would have made him happier.
Inzamam, who had tense moments while Klusener was batting, said he was thrilled in the end that they pulled it off.
"The result may be that Kolkata Tigers have lost this game, but I must congratulate them for the way they fought in this game," Inzamam said.
Lahore Badshahs 182/7 in 20 overs (Imran Nazir 42, Humayun Farhat 39, Sagar 2/19) bt Kolkata Tigers 175 for 4 (Lance Klusener 91, Shahid Nazir 2/12).