Chennai: Lasith Malinga's four-wicket haul scripted a thrilling 10-run win for Mumbai Indians over Somerset in the second semi-final of the Champions League Twenty20 on Saturday. Malinga took 4 for 20 in his four overs as Mumbai restricted Somerset to 150/7 in their 20 overs.
Mumbai will now face their IPL opponents Bangalore in the Champions League Twenty20 final in the same ground on Sunday.
A half-century (62) by Craig Kieswetter put Somerset in sight of a possible victory, but seamer James Franklin delivered a double strike in the 19th over to set the stage for a similar performance in the 20th by Malinga who added two more to the two he had taken at the start of the innings.
Kieswatter was involved in two crucial partnerships, 83 for the third wicket with James Hildreth (39) and then 41 for the fourth with Jos Buttler (19) as Somerset came within striking distance of victory only to collapse in the last two overs.
Two early strikes by Malinga who took out opener Peter Trego and Roelf van der Merwe in his first and second overs, rocked Somerset on the backfoot, but not for long as Kieswetter and Hildreth put on 83 runs for the third wicket.
Hildreth, though, seemed to get carried away and was bowled off Harbhajan when he walked right across the stumps to play across, missed and had his stumps knocked back.
The 17th over, bowled by young Abu Nechim fetched Someset 16 runs and they needed 29 off the final three. Malinga went for seven in the 18th and Franklin removed Buttler and Kieswetter in the next to deliver crucial blows.
Going into the final over, Somerset needed 15, but it was never to be as Malinga removed Nick Compton and Murali Karthik with searing yorkers that brooked no response to close out the game.
Earlier winning the toss, Mumbai Indians elected to bat knowing the pitch will play slower as the game progresses. They however failed to make a positive start with Sarul Kanwar falling in the third over. His fellow opener, Aiden Blizzard was in no mood to let Somerset settle as he cut loose with flurry of brilliant shots.
Blizzard stroked his way to a classy 54 off 39 balls, before Kieron Pollard (24 off 18), Suryakumar Yadav (23 not out off 19) and Rajagopal Sathish (25 not out off 12) gave the Mumbai effort some extra impetus in the second half of the innings.
Ambati Rayadu (19) was caught behind off seamer Adam Dibble and all-rounder James Franklin (6) was trapped leg-before by Roelof van der Merwe. When Blizzard fell, bowled by left-arm spinner Murali Kartik in the following over, Mumbai had slipped to 92 for four in the 13th over and they will be wondering why they promoted Rayadu and Franklin ahead of the likes of Pollard, Yadav and Sathish, who all batted with impressive urgency.
Pollard looked in fine touch, smiting two sixes, before Thomas induced an edge back into the stumps with a full, widish delivery. Yadav and Sathish were quickly into their stride, however, taking 20 runs off the otherwise brilliant Thomas in the penultimate over.
The pace did drop significantly in the final over, however, as South African left-arm spinner Van der Merwe conceded just eight runs to finish with one for 32. Kartik took one for 30 and Thomas one for 34, but Somerset will be especially grateful for Dibble's four overs that cost just 20 runs.
(With agency inputs)