Aaron Finch's record 156 from 63 balls leads Australia to a 39-run win over England in the first T20 international at the Rose Bowl.
How it went down
Australia's win drought in England has finally been broken in the first T20 international at the Rose Bowl, thanks exclusively to a monster knock by opener Aaron Finch. The Victorian scored a world record 156 from 63 balls, including a record 14 sixes, as Australia reached 6-248 (the second-highest total in a T20I) from their allotted overs.
England were never going to reach 249, even if Australia went in with a modest attack, but an unbeaten 90 from Joe Root at least kept things interesting. Mitch Johnson and Josh Hazlewood were the pick of the bowlers with two wickets each as England finished their dig 39 runs shy with four wickets in hand.
Bluffers' guide: "I loved Finch's knock, but gee didn't Mitch Johnson bowl with some venom. The selectors should think about bringing him in for the Perth Test."
Two moments that mattered
1. FINCH STARTS WITH A BANG. The Poms should've realised Aaron Finch was in a mood when the Aussie opener lifted the first ball he faced for six. Steve Finn put one on a good length on off stump but Finch rocked back and belted him over deep square leg. So much for getting your eye in.
1. WARNER KEEPS GIVING. The English crowds have enjoyed ribbing David Warner on tour and unfortunately he keeps giving them reason to giggle. He was out for 1 in Australia's dig, top-edging Stuart Broad's second ball to Jos Buttler. That would've been enough but he also lost control of his bat and tossed it down to short fine-leg, where he had to sheepishly retrieve it before heading for the pavilion.
Hero of the day
Could it be anyone else? We may not see another innings like this for a long time. In addition to being a world record score, Finch's knock was also the first T20I century by an Australian. The numbers are just mind-boggling. Finch brought up his 100 in 47 balls, two deliveries more than Richard Levi needed for his record 45-ball hundred last year. Thirteen balls later he was at 150. He scored 84 runs in sixes alone, and another 44 in boundaries. In one Joe Root over he plundered 26 runs from five balls.
It was only a matter of time
Until Finch announced himself on the international stage. Finch has six previous T20I caps to his name for not much. Other than a 53 not out against the Poms at the MCG he's found runs difficult to come by. He shone at the domestic level for the Melbourne Renegades last summer and was rewarded with a call-up to Australia's ODI squad for Sri Lanka and the West Indies, but after scoring just 38 runs in seven innings his future in the international setup was left uncertain. Not anymore.
It’s a numbers game
16 – Dot balls faced by Aaron Finch. Five of them were off Steve Finn.
247.61 – Aaron Finch's strike rate.
5 – Sixes scored by England, 13 fewer than Australia.
0-43 – Fawad Ahmed's bowling figures in his first appearance for Australia. He was done no favours by the pitch, admittedly.
What caught our eye
We could have put just about any one of Aaron Finch's sixes here, but instead we were tickled by Ravi Bopara's near run-out midway through England's innings. Bopara, believing he'd been caught short by Warner, trudged off to the boundary without waiting for the third umpire. Replays showed Warner had struck the base of the stumps before Bopara made his crease but that the bails had taken an unusually long time to dislodge. The batsman was given not out and had to walk all the way back out to the middle again – his bat still under his arm – while Warner broke into a wide grin under that 'stache of his.
Did he really say that?
"We tried most things but he continually hit sixes. We were outplayed by one man." – Stuart Broad lost for words after the match. He was talking about Aaron Finch, in case you didn't get that.
Soundtrack of the day
"We Are the Champions" – Queen.
Finally, finally, the Aussies have had a win in England.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 30 August, 2013 7:20AM AEST