Aaron Finch scored 107 © Getty Images
Aaron Finch scored 107 © Getty Images

Aaron Finch‘s century powered Australia to 304 for 8 in the first ODI against England. England won the toss at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday and put the hosts to bat. Finch started off aggressively, hammering opening bowler Chris Woakes for a boundary off the first ball and hitting another in the over. But Mark Wood made up for a costly first over, dismissing David Warner in the next. Wood’s short ball left Warner startled and produced an edge off his defending willow. The ball flew to Joe Root at slip to get rid of the swashbuckling opener.

Steven Smith built a brief partnership with Finch, playing a couple of fine shots but soon perished to Adil Rashid. Smith expected turn and tried to drive while there was none, edging it to Jos Buttler and departing for 23. Despite wickets falling in regular intervals in the other end, Finch kept going. He found a stable partner in Micthell Marsh. The duo stitched a 118-run partnership before Finch’s stable knock of 107 runs came to an end. Moeen Ali bowled one at leg, and managed to produce an inside edge off Finch, who was looking to go all guns blazing. The partnership breathed life into Australia’s innings, reviving them from 78 for 3 to 196 for 4 at the time of Finch’s departure.

Marsh completed his half-century but followed Finch soon after, getting out off Rashid’s delivery. Marsh played for turn, creating a gap between bat and pad for the ball to get through to the stumps and get him bowled for 50.

Marcus Stoinis played a brilliant innings, batting with the tail. He added 60 off 40 deliveries, hitting 5 fours and a couple of sixes before Woakes dismissed him. This innings replenished Australia further as the total tottered past 300, setting a competitive target for the visitors.

Woakes failed to bowl as per expectations, finishing with an economy of 6.50 with just one wicket. Wood and Moeen, on the other hand, bowled economically and gave tough time to the Australian batsmen out in the middle. However, England’s best bowler was Lian Plunkett, who bagged 3 for 71.

Brief scores:

Australia 304 for 8 (Aaron Finch 107, Mitchell Marsh 50, Marcus Stoinis 60; Liam Plunkett 3 for 71, Adil Rashid 2 for 73) against England.