Aaron Finch made short work of a sub-par target by RCB with a 34-ball 72 to take Gujarat Lions to just their third win of this IPL by 7 wickets. Earlier, Bangalore’s top order had collapsed yet again as they set Gujarat only 135 runs to further erase their already slim playoff chances.
Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 134/10 (Pawan Negi 32, Kedar Jadhav 31; Andrew Tye 3/12, Ravindra Jadeja 2/28) lost to Gujarat Lions 135/3 (Aaron Finch 72, Suresh Raina 34*; Samuel Badree 2/29, Pawan Negi 1/24) by 7 wickets.
As convention at the Chinnaswamy dictates, Gujarat elected to chase with Dwayne Smith, Praveen Kumar, and Dhawal Kulkarni making way for James Faulkner, Shubham Agarwal, and Ankit Soni. After the humiliation against KKR, RCB decided to
Gujarat Tye Bangalore down
RCB appeared to be struggling from the KKR hangover even four days later as Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle struggled to get going against Gujarat’s pacers. In the first three overs, the duo could only manage 17 runs - 10 of which came off two balls. But that wasn’t the worst of it as Kohli was dismissed for 10 while attempting to flick the ball past short fine leg. In the next over, it went from bad to worse as Andrew Tye dismissed Gayle and Travis Head off back to back deliveries which led to RCB reaching just 35 in their powerplay overs. With AB de Villiers playing himself in, Kedar Jadhav took up the responsibility of the enforcer taking Bangalore’s score to 56/3 in the next two overs. But yet again, it didn’t last long as he was dismissed while attempting a late cut on a Ravindra Jadeja delivery.
Gujarat restrict Bangalore to sub-par score
Being the last batsman on the roster (excluding Mandeep Singh), Pawan Negi took the responsibility of upping the run rate on his own. The all-rounder hit Faulkner for a boundary and followed it up by hitting debutant Ankit Soni for two sixes in three balls. But it was the 23-year-old who had the last laugh as he claimed Negi’s scalp on the very next ball. Samuel Badree departed in the next over and Mandeep in the one after that as the signs
The Finch storm
Chasing a modest target of 135, Gujarat made a change to their batting order sending youngster Ishan Kishan to partner Brendon McCullum at the top of the innings and he made most of the opportunity smashing Samuel Badree for two boundaries in the very first over. But Badree got his revenge in the next over by trapping Kishan plumb in front of his stumps and in his third when McCullum mistimed a shot to de Villiers at long-on, it appeared like Bangalore had gained a foothold in the game. However, it proved to be a false dawn as Aaron Finch cleared the ropes off consecutive balls to signal his intent and with a couple of boundaries off Aravind took Gujarat to 49/2 at the end of the powerplay. The carnage continued as the Aussie brought up his fifty in just 22 balls - the fastest by a Gujarat player in the IPL. At the midway point, Gujarat found themselves in the comfortable position of 89/2 with the required run rate at a mere 4.60.
Gujarat secure third win of the season
Finch kept the runs coming though as he took on Pawan Negi, hitting him for two sixes in the 11th over and followed it up with two boundaries off Chahal. But in the next over it was over as a mistimed shot ended up in the hands of de Villiers who made no mistake. But by then it was all over as Gujarat needed just 20 runs off 48 balls. The defeat was evident in the Bangalore player’s body language and Gujarat put them out of their misery early scoring the required runs off just 11 balls to go sixth on the table.