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Two of the best players in the world steal the last two games: Aaron Finch

Aaron Finch Gujarat Lions IPL 9
Aaron Finch. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Gujarat Lions batsman Aaron Finch has batted at different positions for his side this season. In the first part of the tournament, he was opening the inning and later he was pushed down in the middle-order.

He has been consistent for them with five half-centuries this season. Gujarat Lions were the table-toppers and they had two chances to reach the finals, but they failed to do so since two quality batters from the opposition played one of their best innings to take their side through from the qualifiers. It was AB de Villiers for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and David Warner for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).

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In the match against SRH, Gujarat posted 162 runs with Finch scoring a 32-ball 50, and in reply, Warner scored 93 of the 163 runs needed, single-handedly taking Sunrisers Hyderabad into the final. “Tonight, I think that we had a very competitive total, it was around par,” Finch said after the match on Friday. “170 would have been nice as it turns out, but two of the best players in the world have both got big scores against us in the last two games. Sometimes you just have to take your hat off and appreciate how good cricketers them two are. And say well played.”

Also Read: Sunil Gavaskar calls AB de Villiers as “ABCDE” of world cricket

“It was an amazing knock, wasn’t it, the way that he controlled the innings the whole way through and went right through and got them home was outstanding. We have been at the receiving end of a couple of great knocks in this tournament, and it is just that one batter in every couple of games seems to get us. AB (AB de Villiers) in the last game and Davey (David Warner) tonight. We can hold our head up very high. We played some really great cricket throughout this tournament but unfortunately we just couldn’t get them, world-class players out when it counted right at the end there.”

Finch picked left-arm wrist spinner Shivil Kaushik as the find of the tournament for the Lions. Kaushik had figures of 2/22 from his 4 overs against SRH, accounting for the wickets of Yuvraj Singh and Ben Cutting.”I think we have seen an unusual spinner in this tournament in Shivil,” Finch said. “He has been outstanding for us. Anyone who can bowl with an unusual action like that and who can spin the ball both ways is a huge asset, and he has been outstanding. It was beautiful the way that he bowled tonight, under pressure in a big game, to come back into the team after a few games out, just shows a real lot of character and someone who hasn’t had cricket given to him easily. He has had to work very hard for what he has achieved. He was outstanding, he was great all season and I think he can play a big part going forward.”

Watch: Shivil Kaushik’s unconventional Chinaman action

The other spinner in the squad Ravi Jadeja didn’t bowl a single over in the match against SRH, probably because of the left-handed David Warner was at the crease. “I think Jadeja played a big part for us. He probably played a different role with the bat than what he has in the past years for Chennai and also India. He’s usually been batting 7 and 8, but he has stepped up this year and made some really valuable runs.”

Overall, as a team, Lions are satisfied with the way they have performed being the table-toppers at the end of the league stages in their first IPL season. “I think the way that we played throughout the tournament was fantastic from the team’s point of view,” Finch said. “To finish top of the table for a franchise in their first year was fantastic. I think it’s obviously disappointing that we couldn’t get through to the final but the way that we fought and fought…”

“We had our back up against the wall a couple of times. We started off the tournament fantastic, I think we went six wins, one loss and then we had a bit of a down period but then we hit back hard and beat two outstanding teams in Kolkata and Mumbai coming into the finals. But it goes to show what an amazing competition it was. If we had lost one of them games, we finish out of the four but we won both and we finish top of the table. Same with Bangalore (RCB). It was an amazing tournament all around, the way that it unfolded.” Finch concluded saying.

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