Finch’s lean start continues as Dhoni winds back the clock
AARON Finch is off to a rough start at his new team Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League.
Finch registered his second straight golden duck for the club on Sunday, as Kings XI just survived a MS Dhoni onslaught to beat the Chennai Super Kings by four runs
Chennai nearly pulled off its third successive last-over victory before finishing on 5-193 in a chase of 198. Dhoni, braving back pain, finished unbeaten on 79 off 44 balls with six fours and five sixes.
After being put into bat, Chris Gayle made a resounding debut for Punjab by smashing 63 off 33 balls, including seven fours and four sixes in Punjab's total of 7-197.
Gayle and Lokesh Rahul (37) gave Punjab a lightning start of 96 off just 48 balls, against both pace and experienced spinners Harbhajan Singh (1-41) and Imran Tahir (2-34).
Gayle finally fell in the 12th over when Shane Watson's short delivery found the edge as the left-hander tried to get away but was caught at fine leg.
Mayank Agarwal (30 off 19), Yuvraj Saingh (20 off 13) and Karun Nair (29 off 17) all made important contributions for Punjab, but Finch's contribution was minimal.
Walking out to bat in 15th over, the Victorian was trapped plumb in front by Imran Tahir first ball. Two days earlier he fell in the same fashion to Bangalore's Umesh Yadav.
A free flowing 49 of 35 from Ambati Rayudu looked to have Chennai on track for victory, only for the right hander to be brilliantly run out by captain Ravichandran Ashwin off a direct throw in the 14th over.
That brought Dhoni to the middle and the former India captain, who received on field treatment on his back, was patient until the 18th over with Chennai needing 55 runs.
Together with Ravindra Jadeja (19), Dhoni smashed seamers Mohit Sharma (1-47) and Andrew Tye (2-47) for 38 runs before Sharma kept his nerve and conceded 12 in the last over to earn Punjab its second win.