Finch carries bat as Lions edge out Mumbai


Aaron Finch defied injury and a lack of batting support to secure a thrilling last-ball victory over Mumbai Indians that maintained Gujarat Lions' 100 per cent Indian Premier League record.

Skipper Finch led by example in the Lions' first two wins - striking 74 against Kings XI Punjab and 50 versus Rising Pune Supergiants.

Yet the Australia opener delivered an even more valuable display at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday, finishing unbeaten on 67 courtesy of a final-ball four off Jasprit Bumrah as Gujarat sneaked home by three wickets.

A successful pursuit of 144 from the Lions appeared all but certain when they required 13 runs from 12 balls, but Mitchell McClenaghan gave up just two in the penultimate over while also dismissing James Faulkner and Praveen Kumar to finish with superb figures of 4-21.

By that stage, Finch had also been hampered by an apparent problem with his left hamstring, but that setback was overcome as he pulled Bumrah for a match-winning boundary after Dhawal Kulkarni had also picked up a crucial four in the 20th over.

Kulkarni was only in the Gujarat team due to the absence of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who gets married this weekend, and also shone with the ball by returning 2-19 from four overs.

Mumbai had a mere 88 runs on the board at the end of the 16th over, before Tim Southee (25 off 11 balls) and IPL debutant Krunal Pandya (20 not out off 11) provided a late boost and lifted their team to 143-8.

The hosts then struck at regular intervals in Gujarat's reply, but Finch would not be shifted and his innings proved key.