Finch Blasts MCC To Victory
MCC 296-3 (Finch 181, Tendulkar 44) beat
Rest of the World 293-7 by seven wickets
Lord's bicentenary match, Lord's
Aaron Finch struck an imperious unbeaten 181 to help the MCC beat the Rest of the World by seven wickets in a star-studded one-day game to celebrate the bicentenary of Lord's Cricket Ground.
Yuvraj Singh had made 132 as the Rest of the World side recovered from 68 for five to post a good score of 293 for seven.
However Finch, with support from Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, hit 181 in 145 balls to guide the MCC home with more than four overs to spare.
After MCC openers Virender Sehwag (22) and Adam Gilchrist (29) gave their side a good start, Saeed Ajmal came on to change to complexion of the contest by taking four for 45.
He had Gilchrist and Kevin Pietersen (10) stumped, trapped Tamim Iqbal in front for one and then bowled Shahid Afridi for nought.
However, Yuvraj then launched a stunning counter-attack, hitting eight fours and six sixes on his way to 132 in 134 balls.
Helping him lift the MCC to almost 300 were Paul Collingwood (40) and Peter Siddle (33 not out).
Brett Lee took two for 55 and Tendulkar one for 33, turning his arm over to have Yuvraj caught in the deep.
He then opened up with Finch and between them, the pair put on 107 together in 17 overs to get the run chase underway in fine style.
Tendulkar was bowled by Muttiah Muralitharan and left the middle to a standing ovation but as one legend departed, another in Brian Lara arrived.
He made 23 in 38 balls, playing second fiddle to Finch, who would go on to blast 23 fours and six sixes to hammer the bowlers.
Lara also got a huge reception after edging Paul Collingwood to Gilchrist and Collingwood struck again to bowl Rahul Dravid first ball.
However, the Durham man's two wickets in as many balls couldn't inspire a late fightback as Finch, along with Chanderpaul, who made an unbeaten 37 in 47 balls, finished off the game, Finch facing just 145 balls in all.
While the majority of the on-field action provided a wonderful spectacle worthy of the occasion, there were a couple of low points.
During the match, Brett Lee hit Shane Warne on the hand with an accidental beamer and x-rays later confirmed a break for the Rest of the World captain.
However, away from the pitch and in the commentary box, Andrew Strauss has come in for criticism after he was heard talking about Kevin Pietersen in derogoratory terms.
He thought his comments were not being broadcast but both he and host broadcasters SKY subsequently apologised, Strauss saying he was 'mortified' and 'profusely sorry'.
Pietersen and Strauss were at the centre of the 'textgate' affair which saw Pietersen dropped from the England team in 2012.
© Cricket World 2014