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MI beat Somerset by 10 runs, set up final clash with RCB

Sunday, October 09, 2021

Chennai: Mumbai Indians held their nerves in crucial moments to eke out a narrow 10-run victory over Somerset in the second semifinal of the Champions League twenty20 on Saturday and set up a summit clash with Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday.

Lasith Malinga took 4 for 20 to set up a thrilling 10-run win for Mumbai Indians in the nail-biting semifinal against Somerset. 

Lasith Malinga snapped four wickets and Aiden Blizzard cracked a 39-ball 54 but it was James Franklin's two-wicket burst at the 19th over which set up the win for Mumbai Indians in the nail-biting semifinal.

Needing 22 off last 12 balls, Franklin picked up the wickets of Jos Butler (19) and Craig Kieswetter (62) -- to turn the game in Mumbai's favour. Malinga then completed the proceeding by taking two wickets in the last over.

Chasing 161 to win, Kieswetter cracked seven fours and one six and stitched a crucial 83-run partnership off 63 balls with James Hildreth (39) to keep Somerset in the runchase but Franklin's 19th over put paid to their hopes.

Defending 160, Mumbai Indians pacer Lasith Malinga rattled Somerset with his pacy yorkers as he first removed opener Peter Trego for a naught and then cleaned up Roelef van der Merwe to straight away derail Somerset's runchase.

However, Kieswetter and Hildreth joined hands and steadied the ship, reaching 67 in the first 10 overs. Hildreth then brought up the hundred in the 14th over with a boundary off Harbhajan.

But Harbhajan was quick to hit back as he cleaned up Hildreth in the very next ball to end the partnership and keep Mumbai's hopes alive.

However, Kieswetter was unfazed and brought up his fifty with a single in the 16th over, before amassing 16 runs with the help of a six and a four off Abu Nechim in the 17th over along with Jos Butler to keep Somerset in the hunt.

Needing 29 off 18 balls, Somerset scored seven runs, including a four off Malinga, in the 18th over to bring the calculation to 22 off 12 balls.

However, things completely changed after that as Franklin dismissed both the set batsmen -- Butler and Kieswetter -- to turn the game on its head in favour of Mumbai.

Earlier, opener Blizzard cracked a half-century to help Mumbai Indians post a challenging 160 for five at the slow MA Chidambaram Stadium track.

Blizzard cracked five fours and three sixes and stitched 19, 43 and 24 runs respectively, with Sarul Kanwar (2), Ambati Rayudu (19) and Franklin (6) respectively to lay the foundation after Harbhajan elected to bat.

Blizzard, however, didn't get much support from the middle-order and if it had not been for the late charge by Suryakumar Yadav (23 not out) and Rajagopal Sathish (25 not out), Mumbai would have ended with a much low score.

After a watchful start, Mumbai reached 76 for two in the first 10 overs. Blizzard then changed gears and brought up his fifty in style, blasting Murali Kartik for a six over mid-wicket in the 11th over.

However, Merwe trapped Franklin plumb in front of the wicket in the next over, while Murali cleaned up the 27-year-old Blizzard in the 13th over as all of a sudden Mumbai were reduced to 92 for four.

Big-hitting West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard then joined hands with Yadav, who was drafted into the side in place of Andrew Symonds, and brought up Mumbai's hundred with a six over deep midwicket off van der Merwe.

Pollard repeated his feat against Peter Trego, dispatching him over deep midwicket in the 16th over before Alfonso Thomas destroyed his timbers to once again push Mumbai on the backfoot.

Yadav and Sathish, however, produced the much-needed late onslaught and amassed 43 runs off just 22 balls to take Mumbai across the 150-mark and post a challenging total at the slow MA Chidambaram Stadium track.

For Somerset, skipper Thomas, Steve Kirby, Adam Dibble, Murali Kartik and van der Merwe -- all chipped in with a wicket each.