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Kolkata Knight Riders reach Champions League T20 last four

Kolkata Knight Riders qualified for the Champions League T20 semi-finals with a three-wicket win over Perth Scorchers on Wednesday.

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Despite not being at their best, the Indian Premier League side came out on top in a thrilling run chase, as they registered a 12th straight victory to seal their last-four spot.

Having won the toss and elected to bat, the Scorchers made a blistering start to their innings as Adam Voges (71 not out) and Craig Simmons (39) put on 68 for the first wicket in Hyderabad.

But the performances of spinners Sunil Narine (4-31) and Kuldeep Yadav (3-24) turned the Group A clash in Kolkata's favour as the Scorchers batting line-up wilted to post a disappointing 151-7.

The Knight Riders' quest to reach their victory target did not begin well, as they stuttered to 87-5 with the loss of cheap wickets.

However, just as in their previous Champions League clashes, they found a matchwinner, as Suryakumar Yadav hit an unbeaten 43 down the order to help guide them to a victory that sees them become the first team to reach the semis of this year's competition.

Voges was dropped in the second over the match by Jacques Kallis, and that looked set to be a costly error as he and Simmons set about guiding Perth into a strong position.

However, the momentum swung when Simmons fell to Kuldeep Yadav via a stumping from Robin Uthappa, with Voges finding little in the way of support following that dismissal.

Kuldeep Yadav then accounted for Mitchell Marsh (4) in similar fashion, before Sam Whiteman (21) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (0) fell in consecutive balls.

From there, Perth found runs difficult to come by, with Narine's superb spell keeping the Scorchers' middle order at bay.

Gautam Gambhir (2), Kallis (6) and Ryan ten Doeschate (15) were among those to depart cheaply as the response began from Kolkata, who " with the best part of six overs remaining " looked to be in a perilous position at five down.

But they found salvation in the shape of Suryakumar Yadav, whose two sixes in the penultimate over of the chase left them needing only five runs off the last six balls.

Andre Russell (4) fell to Yasir Arafat (3-39) to fray the nerves but the Knight Riders sealed success with two balls to spare as Piyush Chawla (5) found the boundary after his high shot over extra cover evaded fielder Joel Paris and trickled to the rope.

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