Aaron Finch‘s 148 and Shaun Marsh‘s 151 paved the way for Australia‘s massive total of 362 for three against Scotland in the first One-Day International (ODI) at Edinburgh. A 246-run stand from 38.2 overs for the first wicket between Finch and Marsh laid the foundation for the rest of the batsmen to play attacking cricket towards the end of the innings.
Scotland skipper Preston Mommsen won the toss and was brave enough to put the opposition in on a slow, dry wicket at the Grange Cricket Club ground. The duo of Finch and Marsh started off slowly, with the first boundary coming only in the eighth over when Finch slammed three consecutive fours off Gordon Drummond.
The first opportunity for a breakthrough came in the 11th over but wicketkeeper David Murphy fluffed a chance to send back Finch early on in the innings.
As the innings progressed, Australia’s scoring rate began to improve steadily as Finch was finding the boundaries with much ease. Luck continued to smile at Finch as he was fortunate to get away with a rash heave at a ball bowled wide outside the off-stump. He failed to connect well and the ball flew between two fielders to the boundary and Finch reached his half-century. To make matters worse for the home side, it was adjudged a no-ball.
In the 22nd over, Finch picked up a ball from outside off-stump and slammed it over deep midwicket for the first six of the game. At this stage, Australia had just gone past the three-figures total without losing a wicket and were looking set to torment the Scotland bowlers.
Mommsen tried to put a check on the runs flow and brought on slow bowler Matt Machan. Machan did well to give away just 10 from his first two overs but the runs kept coming from the other end. While Finch was playing the role of the aggressor, Marsh did well as the second fiddle. Marsh brought up his half-century with a pull shot through midwicket.
Medium pace was then introduced in the 30th over through Richie Berrington, but he was welcomed with a flurry of boundaries in his very first over, that proved to be his last of the match.
Finch moved into the 90s, but did not show any signs of nerves and went about playing with the same confidence. Two overs later, he brought up his century and seemed like he had the appetite for a lot more. Majid Haq came back for his second spell and Finch welcomed him back with a massive six that smashed the advertising boards at the deep square leg region. He followed that up with four boundaries — the first towards long-off, the next two to the cover boundary and the last one flicked down the leg side — in a single over as Australia went past the 200-run mark.
Marsh took his time, but soon got into the act and began to play his strokes. The two batsmen were dealing in boundaries and sixes as the Scotland bowlers had no answer to the onslaught. In the 39th over, Finch departed after attempting one shot too many. He went after Haq and was caught by Freddie Coleman.
However, Marsh carried on and found an able ally in Shane Watson who seemed to have arrived with the intention of destroying the Scotland bowling further. He plastered Drummond for three boundaries in a single over as Australia reached 274 for one in 42 overs.
Marsh reached his century in the following over with a cut shot through point. He and Watson added 101 runs for the second wicket from just 57 deliveries to propel Australia to a mammoth total of 362 for three.
Australia 362 for 3 in 50 overs (Shaun Marsh 151, Aaron Finch 148) vs Scotland