But his knock was not enough to stop the AB de Villiers-inspired Royal Challengers Bangalore from racing into the top three of the Indian Premier League with a seven-wicket win. RCB needed 35 from 12 balls before the start of the over and that deficit was reduced to 10 of the last six balls.
However, Finch got out in the next over as Shreyas Gopal gave RR their first breakthrough after Robin Uthappa completed the catch.
RCB were chasing 178 against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday and after the fall of their captain Virat Kohli (43) in the 14th over, the contest was quickly slipping out of their hand. Padikkal and skipper Virat Kohli stitched a crucial 79-run stand for the 2nd wicket. In the death overs, except the 17th one, Smith bludgeoned the RCB's bowling attack and smashed his 11th IPL half-century to steer the Royals to 177 runs in their allotted 20 overs.
However, RCB lost Padikkal and Kohli on successive deliveries. Kohli had whipped the ball but Tewatia stopped the ball, leaped over the boundary and then hoped back inside to complete a thrilling catch. In response, RCB chased down the target by scoring 179 runs at the loss of three wickets in the last over.
After restricting Royals to 177/6, Bangalore knocked down the winning for the loss of just three wickets with two balls to spare. The Royals had bossed the defence, pushing RCB into a corner and asked them to get 35 off the final two overs.
The 41-year-old, who has scored the bulk of his over 13,000 runs in Twenty20s (T20) in the opening slot, has struggled to break into the side this season due to success of the opening pair of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal.
It was a surprise when Buttler did not stride out to open with England colleague Stokes - but his replacement, Robin Uthappa, revelled in his promotion, smiting 41 from 22 deliveries. Both added 47 runs in the first 5 overs.
Uthappa creamed a drive through the off side to start the proceedings and followed it up with three fours through the leg-side. Smith scored 57 runs in this match. However, in the very next over, Stokes was caught by AB de Villiers off Chris Morris. Young Dev (Devdutt Padikkal) has batted beautifully, Finchy (Aaron Finch) has played some impact innings.
While Smith hit a six and a four in the following over, RR lost Buttler in the same over after Morris picked his second wicket. Smith scored 57 off the 36 balls. He hit four boundaries off the third over from Sundar and followed that up by taking down Isuru Udana in the next, lofting him over mid-on for a six and a four.