The Mumbai Indians set up a mouth watering clash with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final of this years t20 Champions League after they secured a 10 run victory over the Somerset Sabres.
With the match played inside a near empty Stadium in Chennai, the BCCI and the tournaments various sponsors and TV rights holders will be breathing a huge sigh of relief that the final will be contested by two IPL franchises.
The empty seats summed up the Indian public’s feelings for the tournament which has so far failed to ignite the imagination of any cricket fans.
Despite the lack of a crowd the game came down to a tense finish which swung in the favour of the Indians in the penultimate over thanks to James Franklin (2-16) who picked up two wickets to leave the Sabres needing another 15 runs from the final over.
With the pressure mounting, Lasith Malinga (4-20) sealed the victory with the wickets of Nick Compton (5) and Murali Kartik (0) to help restrict the Sabres to a total of 150-7 to spark wild celebrations from the Indians players.
Faced with a run chase of 161, Craig Kieswtter (62) and James Hildreth (39) gave the Sabres hope but with wickets falling at regular intervals the Indians were able to stay in control to seal their place in Sunday’s finals.
Having batted first the Indians recorded an impressive total of 160-5 thanks to an half century from Aiden Blizzard (54) and cameos from Kieron Pollard (24), Rajagopal Sathish (25) and Suryakumar Yadav (23).