Australia’s Finch smashes 172 to rout Zimbabwe in T20I tri-series
HARARE – A magnificent century from Aaron Finch powered Australia to a comprehensive 100-run win over Zimbabwe in the third match of the Twenty20 International tri-series in Harare on Tuesday.
The Finch-led batting attack was well complemented by the bowlers as the hosts could score just 129/9 from their 20 overs.
“We’ve come here to win the series,” Finch had said after winning Monday’s encounter against Pakistan, in which he scored a scintillating 68 not out off 33.
He kept up that good work with the bat, smashing a fiery 172 runs, his highest T20I score and the highest in all T20Is. Finch’s 76-ball innings featured 16 boundaries – a T20I record – and 10 sixes.
He also set up a new partnership record with D’Arcy Short. The openers broke the previous record in the men’s game – an unbeaten 171-run stand between New Zealand’s Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson – with their 223-run effort. It was the first 200-plus stand in T20I cricket.
Chasing Australia’s mammoth 229/2, Zimbabwe had an uphill task. Chamu Chibhabha and Solomon Mire, the openers, made a fight of it, posting 42 runs in just 3.3 overs before Chibhabha was sent back by Jhye Richardson for 18, and Mire fell shortly after to Billy Stanlake.
After the openers were dismissed, Ashton Agar sparked a middle-order collapse, trapping Tarisai Musakanda in front and snaring the prized scalp of Hamilton Masakadza in his next over.
None of the other batsmen provided resistance. Andrew Tye finished as Australia’s best bowler with figures of 3/12.
Earlier, put in to bat, Finch took charge of getting his side off to a flying start, notching up his half-century in just 22 deliveries, and got to 75/0 in the Powerplay.
He dominated the scoring and soon went into three digits – his second T20I century, which he brought up in 50 balls.
Even as Finch fired from one end, Short seemed to struggle. He could manage just 46 off 42 on a pitch where Finch made merry. He was the first wicket to fall, but the breakthrough for the hosts came too late in the last over.
Two balls later, Finch too departed in bizarre fashion, getting himself out hit wicket. It meant that while he had broken his own record for best T20I score, he fell just short of Chris Gayle’s mark of 175* for the all-time T20 record.
Australia 1st innings Aaron Finch Hit Wicket b Blessing Muzarabani 172 D'Arcy Short c Peter Moor b Blessing Muzarabani 46 Glenn Maxwell Not Out 0 Marcus Stoinis Not Out 1 Extras 0b 5lb 0nb 0pen 5w 10 Total (20.0 overs) 229-2 Fall of Wickets : 1-223 Short, 2-228 Finch Did Not Bat : Head, Maddinson, Carey, Agar, Tye, Richardson, Stanlake Bowling Ov Md Rn Wk Econ Ex John Nyumbu 3 0 44 0 14.67 Blessing Muzarabani 4 0 38 2 9.50 3w Christopher Mpofu 4 0 53 0 13.25 1w Tendai Chisoro 4 0 19 0 4.75 Ryan Burl 2 0 30 0 15.00 Chamu Chibhabha 2 0 19 0 9.50 Solomon Mire 1 0 21 0 21.00 ............................................................. Zimbabwe 1st innings Chamu Chibhabha c Alex Carey b Jhye Richardson 18 Solomon Mire c Marcus Stoinis b Billy Stanlake 28 Hamilton Masakadza st Alex Carey b Ashton Agar 12 Tarisai Musakanda lbw Ashton Agar 10 Peter Moor c&b Andrew Tye 19 Elton Chigumbura c D'Arcy Short b Andrew Tye 7 Ryan Burl c Jhye Richardson b Andrew Tye 10 Tendai Chisoro c Ashton Agar b Glenn Maxwell 6 Christopher Mpofu c D'Arcy Short b Marcus Stoinis 3 Blessing Muzarabani Not Out 1 John Nyumbu Not Out 6 Extras 0b 1lb 0nb 0pen 8w 9 Total (20.0 overs) 129-9 Fall of Wickets : 1-42 Chibhabha, 2-57 Mire, 3-71 Musakanda, 4-90 Masakadza, 5-98 Moor, 6-101 Chigumbura, 7-108 Chisoro, 8-121 Burl, 9-122 Mpofu Bowling Ov Md Rn Wk Econ Ex Billy Stanlake 3 0 39 1 13.00 3w Jhye Richardson 4 0 23 1 5.75 2w Ashton Agar 4 1 16 2 4.00 D'Arcy Short 2 0 20 0 10.00 Andrew Tye 4 1 12 3 3.00 Glenn Maxwell 1 0 7 1 7.00 Marcus Stoinis 2 0 11 1 5.50 3w ................................ Umpire Langton Rusere Umpire Tichaona Matibiri Video Russell Tiffin Match Referee Jeffrey Crowe