Gujarat Lions cruised to victory with five wickets and 14 balls to spare as their World T20 stars came to prominence in Mohali against Kings X1 Punjab.
Bravo and Jadeja tear through Punjab
The Lions won the toss and elected to field but questions were raised over their decision as Murali Vijay and Manan Vohra settled into their rhythm, scoring 52 off the six Powerplay overs. The pair continued an excellent partnership before Ravi Jadeja halted Vohra for 38, as the duo scored 78 from just 50 balls.
That wicket proved crucial as it slowed down the Punjab train, with Dwayne Bravo joining Jadeja in the wicket hunt. Vijay was the next man to go as Jadeja bowled him for an excellent 42 off 34 balls, before Bravo joined the party.
The West Indies bowler was excellent in the World T20 with an array of variation and he brought that to the table in Mohali, taking quick wickets of both David Miller for 15 and Glenn Maxwell for two, both established players who saw their stumps knocked out of the ground within three balls.
Wriddhiman Saha and Marcos Stoinis needed a partnership with their side at 102-4 and they duly delivered. The pair put on 55 from 45 before Bravo and Jadeja combined, with the latter catching Saha for 20. That wicket was followed by the loss of Stoinis for 33, as Bravo collected two wickets in an over for the second time in the match. Punjab stumbled to 161-6 and knew they would have to bowl excellently to win the game.
Fantastic Finch and Karthik
The Lions got off to the worst possible start as the dangerous Brendan McCullum was dismissed in the first over for a duck, as Saha stumped him off Sandeep Sharma. Suresh Raina came to the crease and built a partnership with Aaron Finch as the pair made 51 from 33 balls. Raina eventually departed for 20 off nine balls as Stoinis saw him caught by Mitchell Johnson.
However, Punjab could not build on that wicket as Finch and Dinesh Karthik out on a match winning partnership. The duo made 61 from just 38 balls and although Pardeep Sahu eventually took the wicket of Finch for 74 off 47 balls, the damage had already be done.
Mitchell Johnson took late wickets of Ravi Jadeja and Ishan Kishan, but Karthik saw them over the line with an unbeaten 41 from just 26, with 14 balls to spare.