Aaron Finch scored a terrific 34-ball 72 as Gujarat Lions (GL) got back to winning ways on Thursday by beating Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by seven wickets to pick up their third win of the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL). (Highlights)
Although it was a dominant performance by Gujarat Lions, who were comprehensively better than their counterparts in all three departments, they are still far from a play-off confirmation. With six points from eight matches, Suresh Raina’s side are now on the sixth spot; two adrift Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) on fourth who have eight points from as many games. (Scorecard)
However, Finch was confident their side can manage a stellar comeback run.
“Yes, we are still very confident to go into playoffs. Last year, we won six out of first seven games,” Finch said. “We are probably now in a position to win five out of last six. That is a great challenge, though.”
Finch’s knock was laced with six sixes and five boundaries as he made short work of the 135-run target put up by Royal Challengers Bangalore.
It was a disciplined effort from the Lions’ bowlers who picked up the crucial wickets of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and Travis Head within a span of just four deliveries.
Although Andrew Tye was the pick of the bowlers as he returned figures 3/12, Finch lauded the young Basil Thampi and Nathu Singh, who gave away just 42 runs in their six combined overs.
“It was a pretty polished performance and we saw some young quicks Nathu and Basil, really stand up with the new ball against some of the best players to have ever played this format,” Finch said before justifying his explosive hitting for the paltry target. “Sometimes, in a small run-chase, you can make the mistake of trying to bat too slowly and before you know, the run rate gets upto 9 per over,” he said.
While he did sound confident of his side’s qualification, Finch was also extremely cautious. “At this stage, you still got to keep winning games. If you are in a position where you can really accelerate and make sure you finish as quickly as possible, it’s great. We are lucky we got into a position like that tonight,” he added.