Had he not been out with suspected injury, Aaron Finch could have played all 10 matches. At the IPL auctions this year, Finch was not picked in the first round despite being a handy T20 player. But Gujarat Lions didn’t leave it to chance the second time and bought him at a base price of Rs 1 crore.
Finch began with three back-to-back half-centuries and played a pivotal role in the Lions’ aggressive start. But in the shortest format, it is difficult to continue in the same vein and a dip followed. In the previous game against Delhi Daredevils, Finch was out on 5 and couldn’t provide a start at the top and ended up on the losing side.
Incidentally, all his three half-centuries have helped pull off wins and the team has suffered when he’s failed.
On Friday, Aaron played a different role and scored an important 51 to take his team to 126, and got his fourth half-century in seven games.
Finch came in at No 5 when the Lions were struggling at 25 for three in the sixth over. The usually aggressive Aussie had to curb his instincts and worked on rebuilding the innings with Brendon McCullum.
Someone had to take the initiative and expectedly McCullum tried to clear the straight boundary but holed out at long off. That exposed the lower middle order and Finch had an even bigger responsibility.
Alongside Dwayne Bravo, he decided to rotate the strike. Big hits weren’t easy as the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowlers were spot on.
This also happened to be the best part of his innings as he stayed calm. In the 16th over, he finally lost patience but was dropped at long-off by David Warner at 31.
The knock did not help the Lions’ cause, but it was certainly a special innings for Finch. Usually, he scores quickly, which ensures a solid start for the side, but this time, he came out of his comfort zone and ran hard between the wickets. His knock contained 31 runs in singles and twos, and had just three boundaries and two sixes.