Aaron Finch’s record-breaking century guided Australia to a 39-run victory in the first T20 against England at The Rose Bowl, Southampton on Thursday.
The 26-year-old swashbuckler smacked an incredible 156 off 63 deliveries with 14 sixes and 11 boundaries, the highest-ever individual score in T20 internationals, to help Australia post a colossal total of 248-6.
In reply, debutant Joe Root smacked a blistering 90 off 49 but it wasn’t enough to take his side close to target as they could manage to reach 209-6.
The clueless England bowlers had no reply to the belligerency of Finch, who entertained the a jam-packed Rose Bowl stadium with roasting hitting.
Finch treated almost all the England bowlers with similar disdain. Barring Jade Dernbach, who finished with 3-34 in his four overs, the rest of others had double-digit economy rate.
Finch, who was involved in the century stands with Shaun Marsh (28) and Shane Watson (37), eventually bowled out off Dernbach in the 18th over.
Michael Lumb (22 off 11) and Alex Hales (8) got England off to a blazing start in chase and galloped the total to 33 in 3 overs before both departed in successive deliveries. The cheap dismissals of Luke Wright and big hitting Eoin Morgan extended English misery as they slumped to 4-42.
On that occasion, a humiliating England defeat seemed on cards but Root and Ravi Bopara (45) combined for a 95-run fifth wicket stand to set-up a respectable finish. The two batsmen played some sparkling shots but they failed to meet the skyrocketing required rate.
The second game of three-match series is scheduled to be played at Chester-le-Street on Saturday. Shortest format series will be pursued by five-match one-day international series.