Australia vs England 1st ODI: Finch demolishes England with breathtaking century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Finch scored his second ODI century

It seems England just can’t catch a break at the moment as they failed to win the first ODI after being whitewashed 5-0 in the recently concluded Ashes series.

Australia opening batsman Aaron Finch caused most of the damage as he smashed a breathtaking century to lead the baggy greens to a comfortable six-wicket win over England.

Finch was well supported by his opening partner, David Warner, who scored a spectacular half-century.

England captain Alastair Cook won the toss and chose to bat first.

However, his decision to do so backfired in the worst possible way as he himself was caught behind off the bowling of Clint McKay for just four runs.

Joe Root only made three runs before he was given out lbw off the bowling of McKay.

Root immediately reviewed the decision, but the replays showed that it was pitching in line and going on to hit leg stump, which led to the third umpire upholding the original decision.

Ian Bell scored a solid 41 before he was clean bowled by Xavier Doherty.

Eoin Morgan and Gary Ballance stabilised the innings with a brilliant 83-run partnership, during which Morgan brought up his half-century, before he was caught by Nathan Coulter-Nile at extra cover off the bowling of Glenn Maxwell.

Morgan’s fantastic knock of 50 came off 47 balls and included five boundaries and a six.

Following Morgan’s dismissal, England lost Ravi Bopara and Ben Stokes in quick succession.

However, Ballance continued to go on the offensive and it wasn’t until he was on 79 that he was finally dismissed by McKay when he hit a delivery from him straight to Doherty at third man.

Ballance’s superb innings of 79 came off 96 deliveries and included six boundaries.

England were able to reach 269/7 at the end of their 50 overs thanks to a quickfire 34 by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

McKay was the pick of the Australian bowlers with three wickets, while Doherty, Maxwell, Coulter-Nile and James Faulkner all chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 270 to win, Australia got off to an outstanding start as their opening pair of David Warner and Aaron Finch amassed a 163-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Warner was caught by Stokes at long-on off the bowling of Root.

Warner’s excellent knock of 65 came off 72 balls and included five boundaries and a six.

All-rounder Shane Watson failed to have an impact with the bat as he was clean bowled by Chris Jordan for a duck.

Finch and captain Michael Clarke kept the runs flowing with a 72-run partnership, during which Finch registered his second ODI century, before he was brilliantly caught by Ballance off the bowling of Stokes.

Finch’s magnificent innings of 121 came off 128 deliveries and included 12 boundaries.

Clarke ended up making 44 before he was caught by Cook at mid-off off the bowling of Tim Bresnan.

George Bailey and Maxwell led Australia home as they knocked off the remaining runs with no problems whatsoever.

Jordan, Bresnan, Stokes and Root all picked up one wicket each.

Cook was not impressed with his side’s performance and said: “I’m disappointed, we were probably about 20 short but we didn’t bowl well enough. We wanted to keep it tight, hit the top of off, but we needed to take those chances. The batsmen wanted to get in – Finch and Warner did that – you can’t just go off and running straight away but whenever we managed to build a partnership we had a setback.

“We’ve got to [manage the squad] this way, we’ve got a lot of one-day cricket to come and it was pleasing to see Chris Jordan come off. If things come together on the day we can be competitive at the Gabba.”

Clarke was ecstatic to have taken a 1-0 lead in the series, and said: “We were a bit sloppy in the field but did enough. I think the momentum has come from putting in the hard work, we played well in the UK and things are coming together.

“We’ve got a lot of guys who can bat and bowl, which makes my job a lot easier, in one-day cricket you need to do two things these days. We’re just looking from series to series at the moment but we know the World Cup is coming along.”

Finch was named Man of the Match for his trailblazing century.

“It’s always nice to get a good start to the series, especially at your home ground,” he said. “It was a good feeling. The way the wicket was, it swung around a bit early, a game of one-day cricket, you do need a bit of luck early, it was nice that it went our way and to contribute to a big partnership with Davey Warner. When you’re batting with him it gives you confidence to give it a bit of a belt. He takes a lot of pressure off, the confidence he brings in from Test cricket, I’ve known him for about 15 years and it never gets boring.”

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