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Royals suffer Smith inury blow

The Rajasthan Royals suffered a blow ahead of the Indian Premier League finals on Sunday with South African batsman and opener Graeme Smith ruled out of the match due to a hamstring injury.

"Unfortunately, he (Smith) is out for tomorrow's game. We have to make the big decision to make on who will open the innings with Swapnil (Asnodkar)," Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne said on Saturday at an event organised by Advanced Hair Studio, of which he is a brand ambassador.

"Yunus Khan and Kamran Akmal come to my mind as being likely to open in the finals," Warne said.

Khan has played one game in the IPL so far in which he scored three runs, while his team-mate Akmal has played five matches in which he has scored 122 runs at an average of 30.

Smith, who picked up the injury during their semi-final clash on Friday against the Delhi Daredevils, had been opening the innings for Rajasthan with Asnodkar and has scored 441 runs in 11 matches at an average of 49. His highest score in the tournament is 91.

Rajasthan Royals will take on the winners of the second semi-finals between Chennai Super Kings and Punjab Kings XI to be held on Saturday. The finals are to be played tomorrow at the D Y Patil stadium in neighbouring Navi Mumbai.

"Smith has played a huge part and in the team's success and we had gave him a couple of games off to recover from his hamstring injury.

Thursday he was running around like an 18-year-old and said he had no problem at all. However, during the game he tore his hamstring in different spot," Warne said.

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