Southampton - Aaron Finch's record-breaking innings saw Australia to a first
competitive international win in 200 days as they beat England by 39
runs in the first Twenty20 international at Southampton on Thursday.
Finch's stunning 156, the highest individual score in all Twenty20
internationals, was the cornerstone of Australia's 248 for six, itself
the second-highest team score at this level.
England, who wrapped
up a 3-0 Ashes series win with a draw at The Oval on Sunday,
unsurprisingly lost early wickets when faced with such a colossal chase
and finished on 209 for six.
Victory saw Australia go 1-0 up in a two-match series that concludes in Durham on Saturday.
hadn't won a major international match since a 17-run victory over the
West Indies at Melbourne on February 10 saw them complete a 5-0 one-day
international series clean sweep.
Finch's runs came from just 63
balls and the 26-year-old Victorian opener, playing just his seventh
match at this level, comfortably surpassed the previous Twenty20 world
record of 123 set by New Zealand's Brendon McCullum against Bangladesh
at Pallekele in September last year.
Remarkably, Finch got off the mark, reached his 50, hundred and 150 with sixes.
his 14 sixes were also a world record for the most in any individual
T20 international innings, with Finch also striking 11 fours.
century was only the 10th in all T20 internationals, the first by an
Australian and the first by any batsman at this level in England.
extraordinary innings ended when he was bowled by seamer Jade Dernach
who, in the midst of the mayhem, took three wickets for 34 runs in four
In view of the run-spree to come, England, who won the
toss, started well when dangerman David Warner lost control of his bat
as he holed out off home Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad for one.
then on, the innings belonged to Finch who struck an extraordinary six
over cover on one knee off medium-pacer Ravi Bopara to the astonishment
of a 20,000 capacity crowd.
His 50 came off 27 balls, with a
straight six off Bopara, and he appeared on course to beat South African
Richard Levi's record 45-ball century.
Finch had to be content
with a 47-ball hundred, going to the landmark with a top-edged six,
while McCullum's previous record was surpassed with yet another six,
this time over cover off Broad.
Dernbach finally bowled Finch and
removed Shane Watson as Australia fell short of Sri Lanka's T20
international record team total of 260 for six against Kenya in
Johannesburg in 2007.
But Australia's total was the highest by one Test nation against another in this format of the game.
opening bowlers Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood took four wickets
between them as England slumped to 42 for four, with their side showing
just two survivors from The Oval in Broad and Joe Root.
it was Root's commendable 90 not out -- his first T20 international
innings -- off just 49 balls, including 13 fours and a six, that
prevented a humiliating loss.
Australia gave an international
debut to Pakistan-born leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed, a 31-year-old former
refugee who only became an Australian citizen last month.
But the Victoria bowler went wicketless in a return of nought for 43 in his maximum four overs.
Highest Twenty20 international innings (score, balls, fours, sixes, player, country, opponent, venue, year):
156-63-11-14 Aaron Finch AUS v ENG Southampton 2013
123 58 11-7 Brendon McCullum NZL v BAN Pallekele 2012
117*-51-5-13 Richard Levi RSA v NZL Hamilton 2012
117-57-7-10 Chris Gayle WIS v RSA Johannesburg 2007
116* 56-12-8 Brendon McCullum NZL v AUS Christchurch 2010
104*-57-12-5 Tillakaratne Dilshan SRI v AUS Pallekele 2011
101*-69-9-6 Martin Guptill NZL v RSA East London 2012
101-60-9-5 Suresh Raina IND v RSA Gros Islet 2010
100-64-10-4 Mahela Jayawardene SRI v ZIM Providence 2010
100-58-10-5 Richard Berrington SCO v BAN The Hague 2012