Yorkshire’s big summer signing Aaron Finch was back to his best on Friday smashing 88 not out in a match-winning innings for the Sunrisers Hyderabad to record their first victory of the season in the Pepsi IPL over the Delhi Daredevils.
Finch, who will join the Vikings in the next few weeks, was in devastating form as he demolished the Delhi Daredevils bowling. He helped the Sunrisers to 184 for 1 from their 20 overs. In their chase the Daredevils fell four runs short finishing on 180 for 4.
Finch and opening partner Indian star Shikhar Dhawan had an opening partnership of 56 in 6.2 overs, racking up Sunrisers’ best Powerplay score in the process. There were no more wickets for Delhi Daredevils after Dhawan fell. David Warner joined Finch for a 128-run stand in 13.4 overs with both batsmen making power-packed half-centuries to post 184.
The big hitting Aussie did not shred the attack right from the start; in fact his first 35 balls brought him only 41 runs. The highlight of that period was a one-handed six over extra cover off JP Duminy. Finch was off balance when he made contact but had the conviction to go through with the shot.
He cut loose in the 16th over, with three consecutive boundaries off medium-pacer Laxmi Ratan Shukla, and passed 50 off his 37th delivery. He bettered that effort in the 18th over, punishing Jaydev Unadkat for four successive boundaries, and set Sunrisers on course for a formidable total. And just when Unadkat threatened to complete an efficient final over, Finch hit the final ball into the stands beyond midwicket, to finish with 88 off 53 balls.
Despite facing a daunting total, Delhi did not want for momentum. Their openers Quinton de Kock and M Vijayadded 99 in 11.2 overs, scoring with ease off pace and spin alike. Dale Steyn had caused no problems in his first two overs either. Both openers fell in quick succession, though, leaving two brand new batsmen with the challenge of scoring 82 off 46 balls.
Kevin Pietersen, playing his first game of the season after recovering from a hand injury, struggled. He scored only 5 off his first 13 balls as the asking-rate climbed over two a ball. Pietersen redressed that imbalance by heaving Darren Sammy over midwicket for six and then cutting his next ball – off Steyn – for four. Karthik had also scored at just over a run a ball when he became Steyn’s first wicket of the season, in the 17th over. Steyn doubled his tally next delivery by claiming Pietersen.
The Daredevils’ biggest blunder was perhaps a tactical one – they kept their most in-form batsman for too late. Duminy briefly threatened to pull off an incredible heist, but Tiwary, who faced 13 balls, could not give him enough of the strike. Duminy was able to face only seven balls and scored 20 off them. Daredevils desperately needed him to face just a few more.
You can see Aaron Finch and the rest of the Yorkshire Vikings in action this summer in the NatWest T20 Blast, which gets underway on Friday May 16, when we host last season’s champions Northamptonshire Steelbacks.
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