Chasing 135 can get dicey as Royal Challenger Bangalore had themselves found out the other night against Kolkata Knight Riders when chasing 132, RCB had been bundled out for 49. And on Thursday, Samuel Badree started well for RCB as he sent back Ishan Kishan (16) and Brendon McCullum (3) to have Gujarat Lions reeling at 23/2 in the 5th over. But that was the end of RCB’s celebration as Aaron Finch walked out to the middle to join skipper Suresh Raina.
Finch made his intention clear from the word go. He hit Badree for two huge sixes off the second and third ball that he faced. And that started what went on to become a thrilling display of power hitting. Finch was severe on every bowler in sight and was just as lethal off the front and backfoot.
In what turned out to be a stellar show, Finch also managed to bring up the fastest 50 for Gujarat Lions as he reached the mark off just 22 balls with four boundaries and four huge sixes.
RCB skipper Virat Kohli looked at a loss of ideas as the bowlers looked like mere bowling machines. They ran in, bowled the delivery and went back to the mark having been thrashed to the boundary.
Pawan Negi finally dismissed Finch in the 13th over, but the damage had been done by then. Gujarat Lions needed 20 runs when Finch left the crease and skipper Suresh Raina (34* off 30 balls) and Ravindra Jadeja (2* off 4 balls) ensured that GL won with 37 balls to spare.
Kohli did not hold back as he praised Finch after the game. “Credit to Finch he played a fantastic knock. In a small chase it is important if one guys takes the momentum,” he said.