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Chris Woakes cleans up Aaron Finch with a gem of a delivery
Finch scored 73, but his efforts went in vain.by Sabyasachi
Aaron Finch, the Australia limited-overs skipper, was in excellent form in the T20I series against England. Though his team lost the series 1-2, he returned with 125 runs at an average of 41.67. In the first ODI at the Old Trafford in Manchester, he could only manage 16 runs, though the Aussies managed to comfortably win the contest by 19 runs and take a 1-0 lead.
However, in the second game at the same venue, the 33-year-old looked in scintillating touch with the bat in hand. Australia were chasing an under-par score target of 232 in their 50 overs and Finch wasn’t ready to throw in the towel by any stretch of the imagination. To start with, he saw partners David Warner and Marcus Stoinis perish in the single-digit scores.
Aaron Finch tries his heart out
Thereafter, his partnership of 107 runs with Marnus Labuschagne, who got 48, got the chase back in the visitors’ favour. But then, Woakes delivered a couple of body blows that robbed Australia off a victory. Not only did he pin the well-set Labuschagne, but he also got rid of Finch. The Kangaroos’ captain was batting on 73 at a strike-rate around 70 with eight fours and a six.
But in the 33rd over, Woakes breached his defence and rattled his woodwork. He bowled on and around the off-stump and the ball held its line to some extent. Finch played inside the line and missed the leather all around. He was beaten altogether and saw his stumps go for a toss. From there on, the Aussies added 62 to their score and got bundled out for 207.
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For England, there wasn’t any standout performer while they were batting. Eoin Morgan top-scored with 42 even as Joe Root, Tom Curran and Adil Rashid scored in the 30s. Woakes, apart from picking three crucial wickets- the other of Glenn Maxwell- also scored 26 vital runs in the lower middle-order. On their basis, they managed a competitive 231 for nine in their 50 overs.
As far as Australia are concerned, apart from Finch and Labuschagne, Alex Carey made a healthy contribution, scoring 36 off 41. But the trio didn’t get any support from the others. Hence they ended up losing the game by 24 runs. The deciding ODI is scheduled to be played on Wednesday, September 16 in Manchester itself.