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Somerset face Indian challenge

October 08, 2011 10:39:39 UK

The pride of India can be restored at Chepauk when Mumbai Indians meet Somerset to decide who faces Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final of the Champions League.

Should Mumbai win an all-Indian franchise final will heighten the tension in the last match. Indians are taking a gamble in bringing Suryakumar Yadav back into their squad as he has not played first class fifty over or T20 cricket since March and his batting average is just 8.33.

The run blitzes of Bangalore are unlikely to be repeated on a ground where runs have been at a premium. Mumbai and Somerset share the unusual statistic of reaching the last four despite having a negative net run rate.

Mumbai can be backed at 1.72 to win the game while Somerset are at 2.10.

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Sachin Tendulkar's absence meant that Harbhajan Singh has led the Indians throughout the tournament and to have overcome an injury list which denied them eight players is no mean achievement. The Indians' special dispensation to field five overseas players has ended with the return of Yadav so Andrew Symonds and Aidan Blizzard are under pressure to keep their places. Lasith Malinga will certainly play and his batting was key in the first two matches but removing the Somerset openers will be his big task in this contest.

Somerset arrive just a day before starting their campaign and have since been boosted by the arrival of Craig Kieswetter and Jos Buttler who have made telling contributions. Murali Kartik and Alfonso Thomas have bowled impeccably but need support and Steve Kirby can be erratic so George Dockrell may return. Arul Suppiah is a vital component in the county side whilst Peter Trego appears to have a niggle which has limited his bowling chances.

Somerset appear to have the better balance and should win, particularly if chasing.

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