Aaron Finch’s 153* helped Australia stroll to a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Pakistan to go 2-0 up in their five-match ODI series.
The Australian captain was in complete control from the moment he opened his side’s innings with a target of 285 staring back at him.
Leading his country, Finch struck 11 fours and six sixes as he recorded his highest ever score in his ODI career. Finch was involved in an opening stand worth 209 – the 28th highest partnership for the first wicket in ODI history – with Usman Khawaja who was out for 88 when he picked out Imam-ul-Haq at deep midwicket off Yasir Shah in the 37th over.
Not long after Glenn Maxwell was run out for 19 after a direct hit from Haris Sohail but the result was never in doubt. Finch’s second consecutive hundred against Pakistan was delivered with equal doses of power and class and deserved to be on the winning side.
It was not the only ton of the match however as Pakistan’s keeper Mohammad Rizwan scored his maiden century with a fine knock that was peppered with 11 fours. His stay of 115 – which was ended by a brilliant catch by Maxwell on the rope off Nathan Coulter-Nile in the 47th over – was a timely one as it rescued his side from a tricky position at 112/4.
His partnership with his skipper Shoaib Malik (60 off 61) was worth 127 but never felt like enough as the hosts will know they left too many runs out on a good surface.
Their innings got off to a tough start Imam-ul-Haq was bowled for a duck by Jhye Richardson in the first over. The fast bowler then had a second when Shan Masood chipped one tamely to midwicket with the score on 35. Unfortunately for the tearaway, his injured his shoulder and left the field in distress. It was later confirmed he’d suffered a dislocation.
Without him, Australia got on just fine and bagged two more wickets through spin. Finch’s dobblers did the trick for Sohail who edged behind and then Umar Akmal holed out to deep midwicket.
That was when Malik joined Rizwan and the pair looked untroubled until Adam Zampa had the Pakistan captain caught on the boundary at long on.
The Pakistan tail huffed but couldn’t drag the score beyond 300 which made the chase that much easier for the tourists.
Finch’s highest score of 153 not out will rightly grab the headlines but this was a complete performance from the men in green and gold who are gathering a head of steam ahead of the Men’s Cricket World Cup in May.