Best run in Australia’s inaugural Indian Premier League tournament



Happy birthday Aaron Finch: Australia’s T20I captain Aaron Finch is one of the most devastating batsmen in world cricket. Known for his powerful ability, Finch is one of the best opening players on the cricket circuit. His best performances came in the T20 format where he set the record for the highest individual score, having smashed an incredible number of 172 runs against Zimbabwe in 2018.

Australia batsman Aaron Finch during the T20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and Ireland, in Brisbane, Australia, on October 31, 2022. (AP file Photo)

Finch is also a screening player in franchise-based leagues around the world. Notably, the swashbuckling opener has represented nine different franchises in the Indian Premier League. He has played for Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Gujarat Lions and now defunct Pune Warriors in the cash rich league.

As Finch celebrates his 36th birthday, let’s take a look back at some of the best performances from the illustrious batter during his years in the IPL:

69 off 39 vs Delhi Daredevils, 2017

Aaron Finch had a great break in 2017 when he played for Gujarat Giants team against Delhi Daredevils. Gujarat batted first and made a hard-fought total of 195/5 in 20 overs, with Finch playing a major part in their success.

Finch, who has risen to an unfamiliar fifth place, finished first with 69 from 39 balls, hitting six fours and four sixes and giving his side a real boost. Unfortunately for Finch and Gujarat, his innings seemed to inspire Shreyas Iyer, who responded with a 57-ball 96 that propelled Delhi to victory.

72 off 34 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore, 2017

Finch had a great season with the defunct Gujarat Lions in 2017. One of his best strikes that season came when he played a powerful innings against Royal Challengers Bangalore. The Gujarat bowlers did a tremendous job of restricting Bangalore to a paltry 134 in their 20 overs.

In reply, Finch who batted in an unfamiliar position of number four came out in the order and slammed the ball into all parts of the Chinnaswamy infield. Finch finished with 72 off 34 balls, hitting 5 fours and 6 sixes in the process. Gujarat easily surpassed RCB’s total, ramming home more than 6 overs.

74 off 47 balls against Kings XI Punjab, 2016

Finch played another sparkling strike for the Gujarat Lions this time in his first season in the franchise. In 2016 against Kings XI Punjab, Finch was in a great mood. Batting first, the Kings XI reached 161/6 in 20 overs. This time, Finch was dispatched in his usual opening spot and, despite losing partner Brendon McCullum early on, was undeterred in his pursuit of the goal by the Australian. Finch ended up scoring 74 off 47 balls with 12 off fours and his sumptuous batting helped Gujarat win the chase and secure an important win.

88 not out 53 balls against Delhi Daredevils, 2014

One of Aaron Finch’s best IPL innings came in a Sunrisers Hyderabad shirt in 2014. Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) won the toss and asked Sunrisers to bat first. Opening the innings on one of the flattest tracks, Finch beat the Delhi bowlers from the start.

He top-scored in the match with an absolute peach innings and remained unbeaten with 88 runs off 53 balls to his name. His innings boosted the Sunrisers to an impressive score of 184/1 in 20 overs. The goal was a big ask for Delhi and Hyderabad got an easy win. Finch was awarded another Man of the Match award for his powerful innings.

52 off 35 balls against Mumbai Indians, 2020

This particular hit may not be his highest score but it perfectly describes his strong personality and his will to never back down. Struggling for form in a Covid-hit 2020 season, Finch has the support of Virat Kohli and Bangalore to open up the roles for them. The Australian batsman brought back that confidence in a nerve-wracking Test against Mumbai Indians.

Batting first on Dubai’s slick court, being open under pressure wasn’t necessarily the ideal thing for hitting in poor form. However, Finch decided to keep a lid on his detractors and smashed a slam dunk to send Bangalore off to a stuttering start scoring 52 off 35 balls. The match ended in a draw and was decided in a super finish, with Bangalore eventually securing victory.

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