The Gujarat Lions got their IPL journey off to a dream start as they defeated the Kings XI Punjab in Mohali without much of a fuss. Powered by Australia’s Aaron Finch, the Lions chased down 162 with 14 balls to spare and there probably couldn’t have been a better way for them to commence their IPL journey.
After being put in by Suresh Raina, the Kings XI openers got off to a flying start as the opening pair of M. Vijay and Manan Vohra played some extravagant strokes. The hosts seemed to be in complete control of the game before their march was halted by Dwayne Bravo. The Trinidadian was simply magical as he took 4 wickets to dent the Kings XI. Finch then took off as his 74 laid the foundation for the Lions.
In the post-match presentation, skipper Suresh Raina said that he was simply delighted with the win and praised the bowlers for their efforts. “It’s a good feeling. We bowled very well – Bravo, PK, Faulkner, Jadeja. At one stage I thought they will get 200, but bowlers did a fantastic job. We do have a lot of foreign captains in our side as well as Hodge. His experience came in handy. Finch batted well, the wicket was very good, and credit goes to all the players. As a game plan, I was batting at No. 3. It was a very good game for us and we will look to stay positive in the next game too,” said Raina.
Kings XI skipper David Miller, though, despite losing, sounded optimistic as he said, “It’s certainly not a mental thing. It’s a good wicket and a fast outfield. We love playing here, but it’s just worked out that way. Still 13 games to go. It’s not how you start but how you finish,” said Miller.