ZIM vs AUS, 3rd T20I, Review: Aaron Finch’s record-breaking 172 blows away the hapless hosts
Finch registered the highest individual score in the T20 Internationals.
Updated - Jul 3, 2018 5:04 pm
Australia continued their good run in the ongoing T20I tri-series as they thumped the hosts Zimbabwe by 95 runs and registered their second consecutive victory in two days. The skipper Aaron Finch led the way with a record-breaking inning of 172 runs off just 76 deliveries after which the bowlers did their job perfectly to bundle out the opposition. However, the win has almost ensured the Aussies a place in the final as their net run-rate has ballooned up.
The only thing which went Zimbabwe’s way was the toss which they won and decided to invite the visitors to bat first. Finch looked in scintillating touch and just continued from where he left off against Pakistan. He opened the innings along with D’Arcy Short who preferred to just play the second fiddle to his skipper and frankly he was not middling the ball either. But it didn’t matter at all as Finch just smacked the leather with utmost power to leave the bowlers and the home crowd stunned.
He led from the front and played the shots all over the park as records continued to tumble. The pair of Short and Finch broke the record of the most runs for opening and any wicket in T20Is even as the latter went on to break his own record of the highest individual score. Finch had cleared his intentions in the powerplay itself as he went on to reach his half-century off just 20 balls and hardly mistimed the ball. He soon brought up his ton as well but was in no mood to spare the hapless bowling attack.
It was only in the last over when Short edged a ball from Blessing Muzarabani who also sent back Finch short of the World record. He just fell 3 runs short of Chris Gayle‘s 175 in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and smashed 16 fours and 10 sixes during his stay in the middle. Australia managed to post a mammoth total of 229 runs for the loss of two wickets in 20 overs.
Zimbabwe simply couldn’t withstand the pressure in the chase and kept on losing the wickets at the regular intervals. Their openers, Chamu Chibhabha and Soloman Mire, started well by attacking Billy Stanlake and Jhye Richardson. But once the 42-run stand was broken by the latter, it was all one-way traffic and the required run-rate kept on creeping up.
The batsmen tried hitting sixes off almost every delivery and gave their wickets away to six out of the seven Aussie bowlers. Only Short failed to scalp a wicket with Andrew Tye managing to be economical this time. He returned with the magical figures of 3/12 in his four overs even as Ashton Agar proving his worth by picking key wickets of Hamilton Masakadza and Tarisai Musakanda.
The hosts could only manage to post 129 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in their 20 overs and handed over the game to Australia by 100 runs. They will now have to win both their remaining matches to qualify for the final which looks nearly impossible given the way they are playing right now.
Australia 229/2 after 20 overs (A Finch 172; B Muzarabani 2/38)
Zimbabwe 129/9 after 20 overs (S Mire 28; A Tye 3/12, A Agar 2/16)
Result: Australia won by 100 runs
Man of the Match: Aaron Finch