Gujarat Lions eased to a seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday.
Chasing a modest total of 135, the Lions lost their openers early – with both Ishan Kishan [16 off 11 balls] and Brendon McCullum [3 off 6 balls] being dismissed by Samuel Badree.
Coming into bat at 23-2, Aaron Finch took the attack to the Royal Challengers bowlers from the word go as he slammed Badree for two sixes off the first three deliveries he faced.
The Australian batsman continued on his merry ways as he dispatched the ball to all parts of the ground, en route to a 34-ball 72. He hit five fours and six sixes during his thrill-a-minute innings.
Finch was well supported by captain Suresh Raina [34* off 30 balls], who was on hand to guide his team home despite having struggled earlier on in his innings.
Earlier, the Royal Challengers woes with the bat continued as they were bowled out for the second time in a row. Some brilliant bowling from the Gujarat pacers saw the hosts reduced to 22-3 with Virat Kohli [10 off 13 balls] and Chris Gayle [8 off 11 balls] dismissed for low scores once again.
Andrew Tye was in top form, getting rid of Gayle and Travis Head off consecutive deliveries at the start of his spell. He ended with splendid bowling figures of 3-12 from his four overs which saw him win the Player of the Match award.
Kedar Jadhav [31 off 18 balls] and Pawan Negi [32 off 19 balls] tried to counter-attack and hit a few big blows, but the Bengaluru-based franchise needed much more than that.
The confusion between AB de Villiers [5 off 11 balls] and Mandeep Singh [8 off 14 balls] that led to the former’s run-out just summed up the day for the Royal Challengers.
After the loss, Raina and co. have jumped up two places to sixth with six points from eight matches.
On the other hand, every game from here is a must-win for the Royal Challengers as they have just five points from nine games.
Royal Challengers Bangalore 134 all out, 20 overs [Negi 32, Jadhav 31, Tye 3-12] lost to Gujarat Lions 135-3, 13.5 [Finch 72, Raina 34*, Badree 2-29] by seven wickets.
Player of the Match – Andrew Tye