Anil Kumble led from the front with the ball, claiming four wickets, as Royal Challengers Bangalore crushed Deccan Chargers by nine wickets in the third place play-off match in the Indian Premier League, in Mumbai, on Saturday.
Chasing 83 for victory, Bangalore cruised to 86 for one in 13.5 overs and won with 37 deliveries to spare. In the process they sealed a place in the Champions League Twenty20 tournament.
Kevin Pietersen finished off things with a quick innings of 29 from 21 balls, while Rahul Dravid was unbeaten on 35 from 30 balls.
Jacques Kallis was the only wicket to fall, caught and bowled by leg-spinner Rahul Sharma after a sedate 19 from 32 balls.
Earlier, Kumble took four for 16 as Deccan Chargers were dismissed for a paltry 82 in 18.3 overs.
Praveen Kumar took two for 18, Kallis two for three and Nayan Doshi one for 17 on debut in a splendid bowling performance by Bangalore.
Anirudh Singh top-scored with a steady innings of 40 from 39 balls and Venugopal Rao made 24,h the duo putting on 43 runs for the sixth wicket, as the rest of the batsmen failed to come to the party on a slow wicket.
Kumble and Kallis triggered a lower order collapse as Deccan lost their last four wickets in the space of 12 deliveries without the addition of a single run.
Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings will clash in the final at the same venue on Sunday.
The two teams played in the title clash last year, but this time they were playing for third place and a berth in the Champions League.
Adam Gilchrist's wretched tournament continued; he failed yet again with the bat. The Deccan captain hit the first ball of the match from Anil Kumble for a boundary through the cover region, but perished two deliveries later.
He hit a full toss from Kumble straight into the hands of Kallis on the square leg boundary and was dismissed for four. The Australian left-hander was a big letdown with the bat, having scored 289 runs in 16 matches at an average of 18.06, with just one half-century.
Praveen Kumar struck in the next over when he trapped Monish Mishra leg before wicket for a duck as Deccan were reduced to four for two.
Kumar then dealt Deccan another big blow when he had Rohit Sharma (0) caught at mid-on attempting the pull shot.
Andrew Symonds (1) got a much needed lifeline when Dale Steyn messed up an easy chance at fine leg off Kumar in the sixth over. But the Australian failed to capitalise on the reprieve and perished in the very next over for two.
Steyn made up for the drop by having Symonds caught behind by wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa as he looked to play the cut shot.
Dwayne Smith also failed to fire, scoring just five before he was bowled by the quicker incoming delivery from Kumble, as Deccan were left reeling at 41 for five after nine overs.
Venugopal Rao looked to lift the tempo and hit Kevin Pietersen for two boundaries in his first over, while Anirudh Singh slammed Nayan Doshi straight down the ground for a six.
Venugopal and Anirudh tried to resurrect the innings, but Kallis dashed all their hopes.
Anirudh, who scored a steady 40 from 39 balls, tired to cut Kallis but inside edged it back on to his stumps. That dismissal saw Bangalore's bowlers run through the Deccan lower order as wickets fell in quick succession.
Left-arm spinner Nayan Doshi rounded off a wonderful bowling performance in his final over with the wicket of Venugopal, who was caught at covers for 24.
Kallis struck in his second over, claiming the wicket of Rahul Sharma, who was bowled for a duck, to register wonderful figures of two for three in two overs, including a maiden.
The wickets continued to tumble as Deccan lost two more in the next over to veteran leggie Kumble.
Ryan Harris was trapped leg before wicket for three, while Pragyan Ojha was caught at deep midwicket for a duck as Deccan crashed for a lowly 82 in 18.3 overs.
Kumble stole the show with the ball as he claimed four for 16 in 3.3 overs. Deccan capitulated tamely on a slow wicket.
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
Kallis was off the blocks in quick fashion; he hit the second delivery of the innings from Ryan Harris through the point region for a boundary.
But both Kallis and Rahul Dravid adopted a cautious approach in the opening overs. They didn't try any fancy shots and were patient, waiting for the loose deliveries, fully aware that a few early wickets could lift Deccan.
The match was turning out to be a big bore as just 33 runs came from the first six overs, with Kallis unbeaten on 18 and Dravid not out on 13, and just five boundaries being hit between the duo.
Leg-spinner Rahul Sharma made the first breakthrough when he took a return catch to send back Kallis for a sedate 19 from 32 deliveries, in the eighth over.
Pietersen started off with a bang, cutting Sharma through the point region for a boundary off the first ball he faced.
With the pitch offering a lot of assistance to the slower bowlers, Bangalore were content to play out the overs and deal mostly in singles.
Dravid was proving to be the ideal man for the situationt. The right-hander late cut Sharma through the vacant thirdman region for a boundary to take the total to 53 for one at the halfway stage, just 30 needed from the last ten overs.
Pietersen though could not be kept quiet for long and he stepped out and lofted Sharma over the long-on fielder for the first six of the innings.
The England batsman ended off things in style, slamming Ojha straight down the ground for a six.
Bangalore cruised to 86 for one in 13.5 overs and won by a comfortable nine-wicket margin to qualify for the Champions League Twenty20.
After winning matches in a row to make it to the semi-finals, defending champions Deccan disappointed in their last two games, their famed batting line-up failing in both.
After their crushing loss to Mumbai in the semis, Bangalore finally finished on a high, to follow up on their second-place finish last season.