Bangalore: Riding on Andrew Tye’s three- wicket haul and Aaron Finch’s whirlwind fifty, Gujarat Lions notched up a comfortable seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to keep alive their IPL play-off hopes on Thursday.
Chasing 135 to win, Gujarat lost both openers—Ishan Kishan (16) and Brendon McCullum (3)—to be reduced to 23-2 but Finch blasted 5 fours and 6 sixes in his scintillating 34-ball 72-run innings as the visitors romped home with 6.1 overs to spare.
Earlier right-arm seamer Tye’s three-wicket haul triggered a top-order collapse as RCB were bowled out for 134 by Gujarat Lions after skipper Suresh Raina elected to bowl in their eighth match of IPL 10.
Tye, who had taken a hat-trick on IPL debut against Rising Pune Supergiant at Rajkot, struck twice in two balls and returned with figures of 4-0-12-3 to leave the hosts at 22-3 in the fifth over.
Besides Tye, Ravindra Jadeja (2/28) snapped two wickets and Basil Thampi (1/34) and Ankit Soni (1/28) picked up one wicket each as Lions dished out a disciplined bowling performance.
For RCB, Pawan Negi (32) and Kedar Jadhav (31) were the top scorers. This is only the third victory in the season for Gujarat, who had so far gathered just four points from seven games to be languishing at the bottom of the table. They now reached the sixth spot with six points.
With this loss, the door is fast closing for Bangalore, who have just five points from nine matches now.
Chasing the target, opener Kishan smashed a couple of fours in the first over to make a positive start. He picked up two more boundaries before being trapped leg before by Badree in the 3rd over.
McCullum too perished in the fifth over when he was caught at long-on by de Villiers as he became the second victim of Badree.
However, Finch took the fight to the opposition as he blasted successive sixes in the third and fourth balls of Badree’s over to make his intentions clear.
In the ninth over, Finch picked Aniket Choudhary for special treatment and blasted a couple of fours and a six. He smashed two sixes off Negi and kept dealing in boundaries before being caught by de Villiers at long-on boundary in the 13th over.
Earlier, RCB, who were bundled out for 49—the lowest total in IPL history—by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) two days ago, were left tottering at 61-5 in 10 overs.
Starting the proceedings, seamers Nathu Singh and Basil Thampi bowled economical overs as RCB reached 17-0 in first three overs.
With Thampi keeping the pressure, a frustrated Virat Kohli (10) ended up hitting straight to Finch at short fine leg as RCB lost their first wicket.
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Gayle then nicked a Tye delivery straight to wicket- keeper Dinesh Karthik as RCB lost both their openers inside the powerplay. Tye struck again in the next ball, dismissing Travis Head in similar fashion with skipper Raina taking the catch this time at wide slip.
At 22-3, Kedar Jadhav (31) joined AB de Villiers and the 32-year-old from Maharashtra blasted three successive fours off Thampi as RCB scored 35-3 in the first six overs.
Jadhav hit another four off Ravindra Jadeja and then clobbered debutant leg-spinner Ankit Soni for a six over midwicket to bring up the fifty for Bangalore. However, Jadeja dismissed Jadhav in the next over as RCB slumped to 58 for 4 in 9 overs.
The Saurashtra allrounder then produced a direct hit to send back de Villiers, who was involved in a horrible mix-up with newman Mandeep Singh as RCB looked down the barrel, losing half their side for 60 in the 10th over.
Negi (32) then picked up successive fours off Jadeja in the 11th over before blasting Soni for a couple of sixes in the 14th over to bring up the team 100.
But he ended up giving a catch to Thampi at deep midwicket next as RCB further slipped to 110-6. RCB could only score 34 runs in the remaining overs, losing Mandeep, Samuel Badree (3) and Sreenath Aravind (9).
Aniket Choudhary (15) remained not out, while Yuzvendra Chahal was the last man to be dismissed when he was run-out in the last ball of the innings. PTI