Fortune finally favours Finch as run drought ends in emphatic victory

Fortune finally favours Finch as run drought ends in emphatic victory

Maxwell’s fireworks powered Australia to 4-208, setting up a comprehensive 64-run victory that kept the visitors alive in the five-game series.

More importantly for Australia, the focus is off their leader. Finch had already been given ringing endorsements by selector George Bailey and coach Andrew McDonald but only a decent score would silence the chatter about the veteran’s future.

Ashton Agar celebrates one of his six wickets with Matthew Wade.Credit:Getty

There had been similar doubts about Finch before the 2019 World Cup but he found form late and was one of Australia’s best players at the tournament.

Fortune was on Finch’s side when he narrowly escaped being out lbw first ball to a delivery from swing king Tim Southee, saved by the umpire’s call on hitting leg stump.

Leg-spin legend Shane Warne is among several influential figures in the game calling for the abolition of the quirk in the decision review system, in which a delivery can produce different results.

The Kiwis will feel aggrieved the initial decision did not go their way, and had a supporter in Australian great Mark Waugh.

“To me, that was just dead,” Waugh said on Fox Cricket.

Finch, however, deserved a slice of luck after a summer in which he has been run out off the fingertips of the bowler at the non-striker’s end, bowled off a deflection from his trouser pocket, and caught down the leg side.

“To see him get runs, it’s great to be at the other end watching him go about his business,” Maxwell said. “He’s so important for us, he’s been our captain and he was awesome tonight.”

Loading

Maxwell started slowly but smoked his final 65 runs off 22 deliveries, including eight fours and five sixes, against a hapless Black Caps attack.

All-rounder James Neesham’s figures of 0-60 from four overs was the third most runs conceded by a bowler in trans-Tasman T20s.

The Kiwis’ run chase was crippled by spinner Ashton Agar, who became the first Australian man to claim six wickets in a T20 international. In his third game back from an injury suffered in early December, Agar claimed 6-30, including three wickets in the 13th over.

Australian cricket’s latest millionaire Riley Meredith impressed on debut, claiming the prized scalp of Kane Williamson among his two wickets.

There was drama before the game when Kiwi spinner Mitchell Santner was sent to self-isolation pending the results of a coronavirus test after reporting head-cold symptoms.

Sport newsletter

Sports, results and expert commentary delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up to the Herald‘s weekday newsletter here and The Age‘s weekly newsletter here.

Most Viewed in Sport

Loading

Source link

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*