Four-wicket Malinga fires Mumbai into final


Lasith Malinga grabbed four wickets to bowl Mumbai Indians to a 10-run victory over English county Somerset in their Twenty20 Champions League semi-final on Saturday.
The Sri Lankan paceman, known for bowling accurate yorkers with a slinging action, finished with 4-20 off four overs as Mumbai restricted Somerset to 150-7 after posting 160-5.
Australian opener Aiden Blizzard top-scored for Mumbai with a 39-ball 54 and New Zealand paceman James Franklin took two vital wickets in one over.
Craig Kieswetter made a fighting 62 off 46 balls with the help of one six and seven fours for Somerset.
“We got to a total where we could defend. Malinga and Franklin were fantastic in the end. It is a matter of a wicket or two in this format,” said Mumbai skipper Harbhajan Singh.
“The 19th over was important and Franklin bowled his heart out.”
The English county needed 22 runs to win off the last two overs with seven wickets in hand, but Franklin dismissed well-set Kieswetter and Jos Buttler (19) in the penultimate over while conceding only seven runs.
Kieswetter and James Hildreth (39) added 83 for the third wicket after man-of-the-match Malinga had jolted the top order with two quick wickets in his lively opening spell.
Somerset required 15 to win in the final over, but managed only four runs as Malinga removed Nick Compton and Murali Kartik.
“We have just finished pushing a top team, but we have provided some good entertainment,” said Somerset captain Alfonso Thomas.
“Malinga is a quality performer.”
Blizzard earlier helped Mumbai post a competitive total, hitting three sixes and five fours. Rajagopal Sathish (25 not out), Kieron Pollard (24) and Suryakumar Yadav (23 not out) were the other main scorers.
Mumbai will now clash with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final on Sunday.
Brief scores:
Mumbai Indians 160-5 in 20 overs (A. Blizzard 54, R. Sathish 25 not out, K. Pollard 24, S. Yadav 23 not out) beat Somerset 150-7 in 20 overs (C. Kieswetter 62, J. Hildreth 39, L. Malinga 4-20, J. Franklin 2-16) by 10 runs.


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