IPL 2016 : Aaron Finch powers Gujarat Lions to beat Mumbai Indians
[caption id="attachment_274051" align="aligncenter" width="680"] Mumbai: Gujarat Lions batsman Aaron Finch in action during an IPL match between...
[caption id="attachment_274051" align="aligncenter" width="680"] Mumbai: Gujarat Lions batsman Aaron Finch in action during an IPL match between Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Lions at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 16, 2016. (Photo: Sandeep Mahankal/IANS)[/caption]
Riding on a superb bowling performance followed by opener Aaron Finch's unbeaten 67, Gujarat Lions outplayed Mumbai Indians by three wickets at the Wankhede Stadium to keep their winning run intact in the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Batting first, Mumbai lost wickets at regular intervals and could manage only 143/8 in 20 overs. Parthiv Patel (34) was the top scorer for the hosts.
In reply, in-form Finch showed his class yet again as he struck seven boundaries and one six in his 54-ball innings as Lions chased down the target comfortably posting 147/7 in 20 overs to register their third straight win of the season.
Mitchell McClenaghan (4-20) was the pick of the bowlers for Mumbai. Chasing a challenging target of 144, Lions lost hard-hitting opener Brendon McCullum (6) in the second over itself but his opening partner Finch and incoming batsman skipper Suresh Raina (27) played sensibly from there on without losing any more wickets to take the team to 42/1 after the completion of powerplay.
The duo brought up their 50-run partnership for the second wicket in just 38 balls to keep the team on track for their third win of the season.
But the 53-run partnership came to an end when McClenaghan brought the much needed breakthrough to keep Mumbai in the game as he dismissed Raina in the ninth over to have Lions at 65/2.
Soon after the wicket of Raina, Lions suffered two successive blows with Dinesh Karthik (9) and Dwayne Bravo (2) getting out in the 12th and the 13th over to put Mumbai back into the game. Gujarat were 83/4 then.
Despite wickets falling at the other end, opener Finch held on sensibly to keep alive Gujarat's hopes of chasing the target down.
Akshdeep Nath (12) after hitting one boundary too fell cheaply in the 17th over to put Mumbai back into the game.
But Finch didn't panic in the pressure situation as he brought up his half-century in 46 balls.
McClenaghan came up with two quick wickets in the 19th over, dismissing James Faulkner (7) and Praveen Kumar (0) to keep hopes alive.
Finch, however, held on along with Dhawal Kulkarni (6 not out) to take the team over the victory line.
Earlier put into bat, Mumbai Indians lost skipper Rohit Sharma (7) cheaply in the second over itself to have the hosts on the back foot.
Hardik Pandya (2), who was yet again sent into bat at number three, failed to make an impact as he got out to have Mumbai struggling at 19/2 in 3.3 overs.
However, Rohit's opening partner Parthiv and incoming batsman Jos Buttler (16) held on to help the team reach 31 for the loss of two wickets in the powerplay.
But as Buttler was looking set after striking three boundaries, his stay at the crease was cut short by off-spinner Jakati as the Englishman was stumped easily by Dinesh Karthik to have the team at 51/3 in the ninth over.
Kieron Pollard (1) too continued his struggle to get back among the runs. As he fell to Pravin Tambe to have the team tottering at 59/4 in the 11th over.
But after his dismissal in the 13th over, Harbhajan Singh (8), Ambati Rayudu (20) all fell in quick succession.
Tim Southee (25) and Krunal Pandya (20 not out) piled on some useful runs in the death overs with a couple of boundaries to help the team cross 140.
For Lions, Pravin Tambe, Dhawal Kulkarni and Dwayne Bravo picked two wickets each.
Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 143/8 in 20 overs (Parthiv Patel 34; Pravin Tambe 2-12, Dhawal Kulkarni 2-19, Dwayne Bravo 2-39) vs Gujarat Lions 147/7 in 20 overs (Aaron Finch 67 not out; Mitchell McClenaghan 4-21, Jasprit Bumrah 2-32)