Johannesburg - Reeza Hendricks and Rilee Rossouw shared in a 115-run second wicket partnership to help the Knights to an eight-wicket win against the Higveld Lions in their RamSlam T20 Challenge playoff match at the Wanderers on Sunday.
Rossouw (58) and Hendricks (74 not out) came together and played with consummate ease as their team reached their victory target of 149 to book their place in the final against the Cobras in Cape Town on Friday.
Both finalists gain automatic entry into the lucrative Champions League T20 competition in India next year.
For the Lions, it was a crushing loss but not totally surprising given they had won only once in their last five games coming into the knockout match.
The Lions posted 148 for five in their 20 overs, but with just one 50-run partnership in the innings, the home side were unable to accelerate at any stage.
The hosts were boosted by the return of West Indian Chris Gayle, who had been struggling with a back injury.
Gayle struck the first ball he faced majestically through the covers for four, before pulling the next ball flat for six onto the grass embankment.
One more boundary followed for the left-hander, but after facing a maiden over first up from Dillon du Preez, Gayle departed in the next over for 15 caught by Werner Coetsee off the bowling of Malusi Siboto.
Temba Bavuma's 36 from 25 balls was the best score for the Lions and he seemed to be the only Lions player untroubled by the Knights bowlers, but his departure in the 12th over meant they were unable to pose an intimidating total.
Captain Neil McKenzie made 33 from 30, but he too struggled against a good Knights bowling attack.
Siboto returned the best figures for the Knights with 2/26 in his four overs, while Shadley van Schalkwyk contributed with 1/25 from his allocated overs.
Scoreboard from the domestic T20 playoff match between the Lions and the Knights at the Wanderers on Sunday.
Q de Kock c Abrahams b Russell 1
C Gayle c Coetsee b Siboto 15
R van der Dussen c Second b Siboto 17
T Bavuma c Du Preez b Coetsee 36
N McKenzie c Roussouw b Coetsee 33
J Symes not out 26
C Morris not out 12
Extras: (w8) 8
Total: (for five wickets) 148 - 20 overs
Fall of wickets: 1-14, 2-25, 3-64, 4-82, 5-132
Bowling: Coetsee 4-0-33-1 (3w), Russell 4-0-44-1 (3w), Du Preez 4-1-20-0, Siboto 4-0-26-2 (1w), Van Schalkwyk 4-0-25-1 (1w)
G Abrahams c Gayle b Rabada 14
R Hendricks not out 74
R Rossouw c Symes b Tsotsobe 58
A Russell not out 0
Extras: (lb3, w1) 4
Total: (for two wickets) 150 - 17.5 overs
Fall of wickets: 1-29, 2-144
Bowling: Matshikwe 2-0-28-0, Tsotsobe 3.5-0-32-1 (1w), Morris 3-0-29-0, Rabada 3-0-13-1, Leie 4-0-28-0, Gayle 1-0-10-0, Symes 1-0-7-0
Result: Knights won by eight wickets.