Kanpur, May 11 (IANS) Australian Aaron Finch’s flashy half century helped Gujarat Lions recover from the early jolts and post a mammoth 195/5 against Delhi Daredevils in an inconsequential Indian Premier League (IPL) tie at the Green Park Stadium here on Wednesday.
Finch scored a 39-ball 69, laced with six fours and four sixes to raise a 92-run fourth wicket stand with wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik (40) to help the Lions recover from a precarious position after losing the early wickets of opener Dwayne Smith (8), Suresh Raina (6) and Ishan Kishan (34).
Languishing at the bottom of the IPL standings and already out of contention for the play-offs, both the sides have nothing to lose in the contest.
Put in to bat, Smith was the first batsman to be dismissed while attempting a dicey single after adding 21 runs with Kishan before skipper Raina fell prey to Pat Cummins’ penultimate ball of his first over of the match.
Leg-spinner Amit Mishra then jolted the Gujarat side in the very next over with the wicket of young Kishan, who looked good for his 25-ball knock, laced with five fours and a six, before a top edge landed in the safe hands of Delhi skipper Zaheer Khan at short fine leg.
Reeling at 56/3, Karthik and Finch began the recovery sensibly, taking the odd singles and helping the bad balls to the boundary as the run rate dropped a bit midway into the innings.
Finch was the aggressor of the duo, dispatching Mishra for consecutive sixes before Karthik joined the party as the Lions reached the three figure mark in the 12th over.
Delhi found it tough to break the partnership with both the right-handers stepping up the gas to race to 148/3 by the 16th over, before West Indian Carlos Brathwaite managed to pack the Tamil Nadu-born stumper, who had faced 28 balls by then and struck four fours and a six.
Thereafter, Finch, who by now had reached his 50 off 32 balls, struck a few blows to add 32 runs for the fifth wicket with Ravindra Jadeja (13 not out) before Shami’s full delivery blew the Australian’s middle stump.
Towards the end, James Faulkner (14 not out) and Jadeja added 15 runs as the home side milked 61 runs off the final five overs.
Brief Scores: Gujarat Lions 195/5 (Aaron Finch 69, Dinesh Karthik 40, Ishan Kishan 34, Amit Mishra 1/27) vs Delhi Daredevils.