Aaron Finch’s magnificent 72 off 34 balls laid the foundation of Gujarat Lions’ thumping seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on Thursday, but he stated that the wickets of Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli in the powerplay was a huge bonus. (IPL 2017 full coverage)
Speaking in the post-match press conference, Finch said, “Taking wickets in the powerplay is a huge bonus. That goes a long way in restricting the opposition. This was part of the game we were missing.”
Gujarat Lions won the toss and chose to bowl against Royal Challengers Bangalore and they had moved to 22/0 in the fourth over. However, Basil Thampi removed Kohli for 10 while Andrew Tye got the big wicket of Gayle for 8 and Travis Head for 0. The twin strikes by Tye ensured RCB never recovered and they ended up on a below par score of 134 all out. It was the first time in IPL history that Virat Kohli’s team have been bowled out in successive games, having been bundled out for 49 against Kolkata Knight Riders, the lowest total in the history of the tournament.
The Australian right-hander heaped praise on the way Nathu Singh and Thampi bowled to Gayle and Kohli which set up Gujarat Lions’ plans. “We saw Nathu and Basil stand up to the best players in their format,” Finch said. Nathu Singh conceded jsut eight runs in his two overs while Thampi got the wicket of Kohli to finish with 1/34 from his four overs.
Chasing a modest 135, Gujarat Lions lost Ishan Kishan (16) and Brendon McCullum (3) to Samuel Badree but Finch changed the course of the match with a blazing knock. The dashing right-hander said that Gujarat Lions wanted to attack from the start. “It was a conscious decision to attack in a small chase like this. We wanted to get ahead of the run-rate. One can make the mistake of batting slowly and settling down. Before one knows it, the run-rate has crept up. Then risks have to be taken after the run-rate crosses 8,9 or 10,” Finch stated.
With this win, Gujarat Lions have moved to sixth spot in the points table with six points from eight games. However, they face a virtual must-win situation in every game but Finch has expressed confidence that the team can make it to the play-offs. “We had won six out of the seven games at the start last year but this time, we are in a situation where we need to win five out of six. We are confident of making the play-offs,” Finch stated.
Tye, whose 3/12 helped him win the Man of the Match, continued his great run in the tournament, having taken 5/17 and a hat-trick in his debut match against Rising Pune Supergiant. However, the Australian pacer rued the fact that he missed the hat-trick due to poor execution.
“The plan was to hit a good length against Gayle. It was the back end of the powerplay and I knew he would look to hit soon. I was just lucky I got it in the right spot. Execution of the hat-trick ball wasn’t as good as last time,” Tye said.
Gujarat Lions face Mumbai Indians in Rajkot while Royal Challengers Bangalore, who are virtually out of the play-off race, will take on Rising Pune Supergiant in Pune on Saturday.