Thomas backs Somerset kids after T20 exit


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The Independent Online

Alfonso Thomas paid tribute to Somerset's young cricketers after the West Country side lost their Champions League T20 semi-final on Saturday. Defeat by 10 runs to the Mumbai Indians in Chennai was disappointing with the final within reach but Thomas feels his club can take much from a successful campaign.

Somerset have a record of falling at the final hurdle – finishing second in six domestic tournaments over the past three years – but Thomas believes there is good reason for the club to be optimistic about the future. He also paid tribute to Mumbai's Lasith Malinga, the Sri Lankan who took four for 20 during Somerset's failed run-chase.

Thomas said: "We've pushed a top team. It's that guy Malinga, isn't it? He's just a quality performer. We're gutted but I hope we've provided good entertainment to the people of India.

"A few guys came over here as boys and leave the tournament as men, like Adam Dibble, who's played really well."

The Mumbai Indians beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 31 runs in the final yesterday, Harbhajan Singh picking up the crucial wickets of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and Daniel Vettori in his four-over spell as Bangalore could only manage 108 in reply to the Indians' 139.