Port Elizabeth:India finally made its presence felt in the world's premier club Twenty20 competition with two of it's sides making it to the semi-finals.
After Royal Challengers Bangalore's stellar performance on Tuesday, current IPL champions Chennai Super Kings too made their way into the semis and the two sides will square up against each other in the last four. This also means that at least one Indian side will play in the final on the 26th of September.
Australian outfit Southern Redbacks will face South Africa's Warriors in the other semi-final.
Mike Hussey hit a half-century and held two crucial catches as the Chennai Super Kings reached the Champions League Twenty20 semi-finals with a 10-run win over the Eastern Cape Warriors on Wednesday.
But the vanquished Warriors also qualified for the knock-out stage, scoring enough runs to edge out the Victorian Bushrangers on net run rate after Chennai, the Warriors and Victoria all finished Group A on six points.
Chennai, who topped the group, will meet fellow Indian Premier League team Royal Challengers Bangalore in Durban on Friday while the Warriors will play the South Australian Redbacks in Centurion on Saturday.
The final is in Johannesburg on Sunday.
"We are the IPL champions and we are expected to do well," said Chennai captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, looking forward to what he expected to be a "fantastic" match against Bangalore.
Warriors captain Davy Jacobs was relieved to have qualified.
"We were good with the ball but not good with the bat," he said. "Maybe that was the bad game we needed."
On a slow pitch which made stroke play difficult, particularly as the ball lost its shine and hardness, Chennai struggled to 136 for six. Warriors could only manage 126 for eight.
The Warriors needed to score at least 109 runs to go ahead of Victoria on run rate and even that looked problematical until veteran South African wicketkeeper Mark Boucher hit two sixes off left-arm spinner Shakab Jakati in the 17th over.
Chennai seemed set for a big total when Hussey and Murali Vijay put on 63 for the first wicket.
With slow bowlers expected to play a big role, 16 runs were scored off left-armer Nicky Boje's first over, and skipper Davy Jacobs made what proved to be an inspired decision when he called on medium-pacer Justin Kreusch to bowl the ninth over.
Kreusch had bowled only four overs in his side's previous three matches, taking one wicket for 35 runs, but he produced an inspired spell, bowling Vijay with his fourth delivery and following up with the wickets of Suresh Raina and Subramaniam Badrinath to finish with three for 19 off four overs.
Off-spinner Johan Botha claimed the key wicket of Hussey, who swung across a full ball and was bowled, and conceded only 27 runs in four overs.
Seamer Rusty Theron was even more economical, giving up just 16 runs and taking one wicket in his spell.
Davy Jacobs hit 32 and got the Warriors off to a fast start but the scoring rate slowed dramatically after Hussey leapt high and held a catch on the boundary to dismiss Jacobs off Ravichandran Ashwin.
Hussey held another catch to dismiss Nicky Boje in the final over, bowled by Muttiah Muralitharan, to snuff out the Warriors' last hopes of winning.
(With agency inputs)