In a day of record breaking Aaron Finch surpassed his own record for highest individual score in a T20I with a brutish 172 off 76 balls against Zimbabwe at Harare on Tuesday. While the Zimbabwean bowlers were able to tie down his partner Darcy Short, who managed 46 off 42, they had no such luck with the big hitting of the 31-year-old Victorian.
Whether it was swatting slower ball bouncers over cover or dispatching fuller deliveries out of the ground all together, Finch had a vicious answer for anything that was served up to him. So well was he hitting the ball that it got to the point that he would admonish himself whenever he failed to find the boundary.
The wicket played better than we thought. It came on well. I knew about the records when I was batting, but a few things went my way today. I took the strike from Short a bit, but that kind of innings for him will also help him. When the wickets get slower and lower, that kind of innings will help. I was captain of the opposition when Gayle got 175, so I remembered that record as well (smiles). The wicket is very good, so we have to bowl well too.
Aaron Finch at the Innings Break
While Finch did fall agonisingly close of the record score in any T20, and Short’s sluggishness prevented the Aussies from making an assault on the record team score, there were a number of other records that fell in the wake of Finch’s slashing blade.
Highest T20I Score by a batsman
Australia’s Largest T20I Victory (in terms of runs)
First ever 200 run T20I Partnership
Highest T20I Partnership
Longest T20I Partnership (in terms of balls)
Highest T20I Score by a captain
Most fours in a T20I Innings
Highest % of runs scored by one batsman in a T20 Innings
Highest % of runs scored by one batsman in a completed International Innings
While the first record betters one only five years old, the last is one of the oldest in the history of international cricket bettering Charles Bannerman’s effort in the very first innings of the first ever Test Match. While he may not put much stock in bettering Test Cricket’s first centurion’s mark, we do know how much he values holding T20I’s highest score.
In 2016 teammate, and housemate at the time, Glenn Maxwell came within striking distance of bettering Finch’s mark. However the big-hitting Maxwell was denied the strike in the final over by Travis Head, which prompted an injured Finch to vigorously applaud the South Australian effectively defend his record. That night in Sri Lanka perhaps explaining Maxwell’s huge grin when he strode to the crease at Harare an over after Finch had broken the record once again.
Unsurprisingly, the efforts were duly rewarded with the man of the match award. Averaging 199, the Aussie skipper is in a ridiculously rich vein of form in the game’s shortest form. With his team also finding their feet in the format, he will be hoping it can continue up to and including the World Cup in Australia in 2020.