Cricket World Rewind: #OnThisDay – Aaron Finch 156 blasts highest T20I score against England at Southampton
August 29, 2013 - Between January 2011 and February 2013, Aaron Finch had played only 6 T20 internationals for Australia. His career took off after the 63-ball 156 against England in 2013.
T20 as a format was not played a whole lot during this period and in the matches that Finch got a chance in, his record was not particularly eye-catching. He had one half-century to his name but nothing much of note.
In the first of the two T20Is between England and Australia in 2013, Finch showed his true potential. He started his innings with a six and did not look back from there on. The explosive batsman pummeled 11 fours and 14 sixes during his 63-ball stay at the crease.
During this time, Finch broke one record after another, finally getting dismissed for 156, but not before getting past Brendon McCullum's 123 off 58 deliveries in September 2012 to become the batsman with the highest T20I score at the time (third-highest currently behind Hazratullah Zazai's 162 and his own 172 which he scored against Zimbabwe in July 2018).
Finch's 14 sixes was also a record. He reached one milestone after the other in his stellar knock, each of them adorned with a six - half-century off 26 deliveries, his 100 off 47 deliveries, Brendon McCullum's record and his 150 - all with a heave over the boundary ropes.
England missed a trick by not playing five full bowlers as their 5th bowler's overs cost them 69 runs. In the only over that Joe Root bowled, he went for 27. His mistake was only this much that he allowed Shaun Marsh a single of the first delivery and Aaron Finch blasted Root for 26 off the next five balls.
The last over from Danny Briggs also cost 23 as Australia posted 248 runs on the board for the loss of 6 wickets. 248 was the highest T20I total at the time and the seventh-highest currently.
England tried their best after getting reduced to 42/4. The charge was led by Joe Root who remained unbeaten on 90 off just 49 deliveries. Ravi Bopara also struck a fine 45 off 29 balls. But the target of 249 was perhaps a shot too far for England.
To their credit, they did cross 200, finishing on 209 for 6 from their 20 overs. Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood picked up two wickets each for Australia despite conceding runs at over 10 RPO. The defining factor of the match was that England managed to hit just five sixes in contrast to Australia's 18 - 14 of which came from Finch's blade.
It was for the first time in a T20 international that there were two century partnerships in an innings - Aaron Finch added 114 for the second wicket with Shaun Marsh (in which Marsh's contribution was 28), and 101 for the third wicket with Shane Watson, who scored 37.
The 101-run stand between Finch and Watson came at a rate of 14.78 runs per over, the second-fastest 100-plus partnership in T20s. The fastest was by Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard, who struck 108 off 6.5 overs against New Zealand in Lauderhill in 2012. The Finch-Marsh stand of 114 was scored at a rate of 12.43, the sixth-fastest at the time.
The match turned out to be a forgettable one for the bowlers who kept fetching the leather all day. 457 runs were scored in 40 overs, as seven bowlers conceded 40 or more runs, the first such instance in a T20I - Steven Finn, Stuart Broad and Danny Briggs for England; Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazlewood, Fawad Ahmed and Shane Watson for Australia.
Finch, still new to the Australian team, established himself with the knock and has since been pretty consistent.
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