Somerset v MI, 2nd semi-final, CLT20, Chennai October 8, 2011

Mumbai Indians win big moments and the semi-final


Mumbai Indians 160 for 5 (Blizzard 54, Sathish 25*) beat Somerset 150 for 7 (Kieswetter 62, Hildreth 39, Malinga 4-20, Franklin 2-16) by 10 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out

Mumbai Indians refuse to go away. Missing half their side, struggling to put an XI on the field, courting controversy every step of the way, they have still managed to win most of the big moments they have encountered to make it to the final of the Champions League.

MI won all the decisive moments of the night. They ran away at the top through Aiden Blizzard's 54 off 39. They scored 52 off their last five, after the middle overs slowed them down, through a 43-run stand off 22 between the unheralded R Sathish and Suryakumar Yadav. Lasith Malinga then took out Somerset's two biggest batsmen of the tournament with devilish yorkers and changes of pace. And when Craig Kieswetter threatened to mastermind a cool chase, with the MI fielders blundering all around him, Malinga and James Franklin defended - just as coolly - 28 runs in the last three overs.

MI chose a fine time to put up their best batting effort of the tournament. On a pitch that was slow but much better than the mud-wrestling arena it had been in the earlier stages of the tournament, Blizzard did what their opponents have been doing: capitalise with the hard new ball. He enjoyed the pace on it, and tried to make use of all quick length balls. Adam Dibble came on and took the pace off with his cutters, but Blizzard was quick to spot whenever he bowled quick. Off the 20 runs that Dibble conceded in his four overs, Blizzard took 10 in two hits, both off quick and full deliveries. One of his other sixes came off a free hit, but that was about all the luck he enjoyed.

Somerset's left-arm spinners, though, pulled things back with the wickets of both the threatening men, Blizzard and Franklin. Blizzard had in particular been frustrated, with only 20 coming off the last 18 balls he faced. With MI 92 for 4 in the 13th over, it seemed it was all about Pollard. It couldn't have seemed more wrong. After Pollard flattered and deceived, Sathish and Yadav gave MI a target to bowl at.

The two men don't enjoy what can be termed a flattering history with the IPL side. It has often been said that Sathish wouldn't even make the side but for the injuries. One of those "injured" players was Yadav, whose injury had allowed MI five overseas players but whose subsequent playing for other teams had brought MI embarrassment. Now back ahead of the unimpressive Andrew Symonds, he put together a busy partnership with Sathish. Yadav tried the adventurous shots behind the stumps, and Sathish was more orthodox trying to drive down the ground, but it somehow worked a treat for them.

Whatever you say of the pitch, it doesn't matter to Malinga. Somerset have usually won games by hitting the new ball hard, and Peter Trego and Roelof van der Merwe have been the main destroyers at the top. Both of them fell to the genius of Malinga before they could make a contribution. A late outswinging yorker at the base of the off stump accounted for Trego, and a bewitching slower full toss that dipped on van der Merwe reduced Somerset to 17 for 2 after three overs.

Somerset refused to capitulate. Kieswetter played like a man who knew he would win the match if he took it deep. He was soon on that route, helped by the average fielding. He was missed on 31 and 50, and MI's part-time keeper Ambati Rayudu seemed to miss more than he collected. Kieswetter began the acceleration even as his associate James Hildreth fell with 61 left to score off 39.

Kieswetter knocked it around until it was 45 needed off four overs, two of which would be bowled by Malinga. He then took Abu Nechim Ahmed on and brought it down to 29 off three. Malinga now had to bowl two of the last three. No question of change of ends or plans if things went wrong. Perish the thought. Malinga responded with a seven-run over.

The over of the devil in this tournament, the 19th, was the event of the match. First off, Harbhajan Singh gambled by not only giving the ball to Franklin ahead of himself and Pollard, but also risked potential criticism that he was not prepared to bowl the big over himself. Harbhajan went with brain over heart, and Franklin responded too. The first ball was drilled wide of long-on. Only Pollard could have kept it from going for four. He did. The next ball was a sure four until it hit Kieswetter flush on, giving him no time to react and get out of the way. Jos Buttler would have thought he deserved eight off those two balls; he got two. Frustrated, he played the blind slog. Bowled.

Finally Kieswetter came back on strike to the fifth ball of the over. He had faced only six deliveries out of the last 27, batting with a man who went at a strike-rate of under 100. Now with 19 required off eight, six of which would be bowled by Malinga, Kieswetter had no choice. He went after this short-of-a-length ball, and top-edged. Game over.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Naresh on October 10, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    At last an Indian team has beaten an ENGLISH team in months. To all you English fans remember its sport. You win some and lose some. The Indian National team lacks quality pacers (like Malinga) Mumbai won the CLT20 against RCB. There is lots of talent in India for batting, even feilding. Its in the pace department that we are vulnerable and hence teams refuse to believe we were the Test and ODI current champs. The team will always try to make for deficiences by going to their strengths. It is also a matter of time before we unearth fast bowling talent. Another pointer is we have just won the U19 ODI tournament and we also won the emerging players in Australia recently.

  • Randolph on October 10, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    Bad luck South Africa. NSW were the only true national team anyway

  • Dummy4 on October 9, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    A lot of stupid comments, as usual. A deserved win for Mumbai. Kudos to Somerset for playing so well to get here with a relatively depleted side in the qualifiers. Depleted or not, getting to semi finals is still an achievement. RwdM at three was always going to be a reasonable gamble; it didn't come off this time, but he surely played his part to get Somerset to this position. They can leave with their heads high. Regarding Mumbai Indians: again, too much dependence on Malinga--not just in this occasion. But again, with so many of their front-line players missing, someone had to be THE stand-out player Lasith did just that. Bhajji's gamble did pay off. Educated one it was, regarding Franklin is a decent bowler. They don't always pay off, but it did last night. Enough said on this topic. The final would be an intriguing one. Mumbai would have to give their all, in terms of bowling, to get rid of the top three for the RCB. RCB should give their all to negate the Malinga effect. Game on!

  • Dummy4 on October 9, 2011, 13:12 GMT

    The funny thing is that the Indian teams seem desperate to play as few indians as possible.

  • John on October 9, 2011, 10:13 GMT

    JMCILHINNEY - Sorry , but I think on this occasion you're being really harsh on Craig. It was the other batsmen that didn't do it. Trego , who seems less able to get the ball away was out for 0 off 2 balls. RVDM scored 10/9 - and I feel maybe for once Hilds or Compo could have come in while Mallinga was on. Hilds played much better this time 39/33 but how many would RVDM have scored of the bowlers that were bowling to JH? Somerset fell 10 runs short. I think it was 18.2 ovs when Buttler hit Craig with the shot that was 4 bound. Had that gone for 4 they'd have been on 145. With momentum from that I'd have fancied SS getting 10 off the final 4 balls leaving 6 off the final over.JB was again less fluent than usual.If you add up the SR's of JB + bm from below him it would = 29/29. Somerset fell 10/11 short of the tie/win. If Buttler had been as fluent as per normal and found his rhythm earlier apu then scoring 40 off 29 would be at least the norm we'd expect from him

  • John on October 9, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    SPORTSMANSPIRIT - Thought it was a brave decision by HS to bowl Franklin. I would certainly say that they were fortunate that Jos hit Craig with a boundary bound shot which he got no runs from. Also in such a fast flowing game that could have given Jos the impetus to go on and put the game back in Somerset's favour - The runs lost from that combined with the minute or 2 lost from Craig being attended to was IMO a possible crucial thing. But I'm not going to say it was a LUCKY decision to bowl Franklin

  • John on October 9, 2011, 9:42 GMT

    On hindsight - and Somerset did extremely well to qualify for the group stages without 3 of their big draws and get through to the final without Trescothick. If you look at the Somerset side which played yesterday , they had one international regular in Kieswetter and one fringe player in Buttler so I feel that puts things into perspective. Just thinking , I'm not sure how the rules work for this tournament but IPL sides were regularly fielding 4 overseas players per match. Now could Somerset not have signed another overseas star for this comp? . Could Somerset - with the financial rewards from this not have signed a top batsman to replace Tres? IMO this could have made a huge difference. Suppiah with his bowling was a key player in the domestic campaign with his bowling but was wasted as 7 and didn't bowl. Still maybe they wanted to show loyalty/give experience to the players who got them there which has to be applauded.In that case they could have kept Waller over Dockerell out there

  • Vignesh on October 9, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    A perfect finale in store.. Can't wait to see Malinga come steaming in to Gayle.. My prediction, a tie. And RCB will win it in the super over..

  • sandy on October 9, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    @vineet joy the pro is 4/10 *3/9 which is 12/90 or 2/15 .

  • inshad on October 9, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    I am so happy that, for the first time my comment published in cricinfo....Thanks for the administrators.....

    my comment was "4 foreign players from the same nation.......Malinga and Dilshan, Gayle and Pollard, Nennis and Blizzard, Vittori and Franklin..........gonna be interesting to watch......"

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