Royal Challengers Bangalore v Gujarat Lions, IPL 2017, Bengaluru April 27, 2017

Finch's brutish masterclass

Aaron Finch didn't bat at his preferred opening position, but that didn't change his approach towards chasing down a potentially tricky total

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Agarkar: Finch took the pressure off Raina and Gujarat

Star turn

Aaron Finch is at his best in T20s while opening the batting, a position that allows him to utilise the field restrictions in the Powerplay, primarily to hit over the infield. After opening for Gujarat Lions for a couple of games, he was again pushed down to No. 4 against Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, two early wickets meant Finch could either benefit from almost a third of the Powerplay or look to play himself in and prevent further damage.

He didn't read his first delivery, a googly from Samuel Badree, which was Finch's indicator to stick to his strengths. Anticipating a full length, Finch stayed low and nailed a slog sweep off the next ball, hitting the roof over deep midwicket. Next ball, he swatted another full delivery over long-on. Finch didn't need to alter his successful attacking approach thereafter. He slugged five fours and six sixes en route to the fastest fifty by a Lions batsman, finishing with 72 off just 34 balls to help the side breeze to victory.

The wow moment

Finch was cruising along when Suresh Raina picked out deep midwicket with a slog sweep. Subsequent replays indicated Yuzvendra Chahal had overstepped. Finch, with the support of a free-hit, missed a switch-hit, his weakest stroke. He was determined to show off his proficiency with touch strokes, so he tried again. On 67, he brought out a conventional reverse sweep, guiding a legbreak from Chahal to the third man boundary. It was Finch's most deft stroke in an otherwise brutish innings.

© ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Stats that matter

  • Finch smashed 32 runs off 11 balls to deliveries pitched on a full or a yorker length.

  • Finch hit 47 runs through lone-on, off just 12 balls, including all his six sixes.

  • Finch was equally merciless against spin and pace. He hit the seamers for 45 runs off 21 balls and the spinners for 27 runs off 13 balls.

What they said

@AaronFinch5 is in town people #kaboooooooom serious hitting
David Warner on Twitter

Thanks for all the kind messages, it was a great team effort! Congratulations @Bazmccullum on 100 brilliant IPL games!!
Aaron Finch, on Twitter

Nikhil Kalro is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SV on April 28, 2017, 9:32 GMT

    Almost all the Indian test players,especially those who played almost all the 13 tests appear quite mentally fatigued; quite understandable, having played New Zealand, England, Bangla Desh & Australia. Apart from the physical effort, the mental strain takes a toll, planning & executing game plans against different oppositions. And a few months before that, they played 4 tests in West Indies. Whilst planning the future seasons, BCCI should avoid at all costs such a crazy schedule. I can't remember any other team playing 13 tests against 4 different opposition in one season! Virat, especially, appears to be mentally jaded and not his usual ebullient self in the IPL & KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Ashwin injured & not playing. Jadeja's lacklustre showing is a reflection of the huge load in the tests. Only Bhuvaneshwar who didn't play most of the tests & Umesh, enjoying his form, are playing well. The Selectors are going to have a tough job selecting the Indian team for the Champions Trophy.

  • Brishni on April 28, 2017, 7:00 GMT

    Jose P : and the relevance of your cinematic allegory to cricket is???

  • Jose on April 28, 2017, 6:17 GMT

    @CricketChat on April 27, 2017, 20:37 GMT

    Yeah! They are like the guns for hire. The gun-slingers in the country westerns of the 'good-old' Hollywood. They do carry the guns in their holsters all the time (like branded labels on the whiskey bottles) to declare to the whole world; who they are! Even acquire brands like "Universal Boss"!

    But, keeping those guns idle most of the times. Just once in a long while, when they feel the need for a bounty, or to make sure they are still available, draw the gun, fire, blow the smoke away in style. then keep riding and riding and riding till they feel the mood & need for yet another bounty. Yes, sir; that is what they are.

    As long as money bags are willing to hire them for a bountiful sum, they will exist and thrive. Yes, Sir!

  • Jose on April 28, 2017, 0:41 GMT

    There are pinch hitters & pinch hitters.

    Even temporarily elevated pinch hitters

    Llike Narine doing the hitting,

    They hit to their hearts' content

    And, to the team's contentment.

    Here's one, who is authorized to do it

    As part of his normal job as a s/f opener.

    May be out of form; may be sent in at the wrong time,

    Hadn't done his usual wont until yesterday.

    Got a chance to drive in early,

    And, put himself right away, on the hitting gear

    Brutal? Was he? Is there any doubt?

    Though no connoisseurs' delight,

    It was fun to watch.

    Hitting is part of his living, like eating is for most.

    To such an extent, mostly he is looked upon

    As too risky to give him a 'testing bat'.

    That seems to be OK for him,

    And for the excitement seeking fans among us.

    Oh, man! Did he do his usual do?

    Yeah! Finally in this version of IPL

    In his usual version, as an autorised pinch hitter.

    That's our man, Finch-hitter!

    Finch fans of Gujarat, Go, hit the nearest bar in B'lore.

  • Steve on April 27, 2017, 20:37 GMT

    Guess Finch, who has had an ordinary IPL by his standards, played his once for the season innings today. Not expecting any more contributions from for the rest of the IPL, just like Yuvraj of Sunrisers and Gayle of RCB. They are all done for the season. Time to take it easy from now on.

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