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Zimbabwe v Australia - T20I Tri Series Match Review - Unflinching Finch

Australia's Aaron Finch catches
©Reuters/Andrew Boyers

T20 – Tuesday – 3rd July, 2018

On a day of batting carnage, led by Australian captain Aaron Finch, the four overs bowled by Tendai Chisoro, deserve far more credit and media attention than it has got so far.  An outstanding slow bowling against a batsman in murderous form. ‘TC’ to his teammates, conceded just 19 runs in his one spell, when entrusted to bowl the 7th over with Australia having cantered to 75-0 in the 6-over powerplay phase of their innings. The left arm slow bowler, previously a paceman, with a tidy length, did not allow any width whereas other Zimbabwe bowlers had little clue to stem the flow of runs. Australia, asked to bat first, reached 229/2 off their 20 overs, thus setting an impossible task for hapless Zimbabwe. The home side reply of 129/9 represented a no-contest.

Finch as we all know is a limited-overs specialist, having played a number of outstanding innings in both ODI and t20. His world-record t20 international innings of 172 was indeed a special effort, although admittedly against pretty ordinary bowling attack. An innings of 172 after facing just 76 balls with 16 fours and 10 sixes, could not have been achieved without brutal power but Finch it is to be said, did not need to revert to slogging at any stage. His placement of the ball and hard aggressive running too did not get unnoticed. It was a smart innings by a batsman in great nick. At his innovative best, Finch had the audacity to play shots, more associated with baseball or tennis, and it worked well for him. When the toe end of his bat gave way, he smashed the very first ball - a juicy full-toss -with the new bat for yet another six. In a near perfect onslaught, Finch was missed just once on 133, in the deep.

After reaching fifty off just 22 balls, his personal best in t20 internationals, he  had a hundred to his name off 50 balls. He then swiftly marched on to overtake his own world-record score of 156, he scored against England at Southampton in 2013. His opening stand of 223 runs with left-handed D’Arcy Short, who was happy to play second fiddle to his skipper with 46 off 42 balls, is the highest for any wicket in t20 internationals. Both the openers departed in the final over with Finch out hit wicket to a wide ball signalled by umpire. The 100-run win recorded by Australia is their best, batting first, in the short format.

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