Finch shines among the stars

Australian batsman hits an unbeaten 181 as greats of the game celebrate Lord's bicentenary

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 July, 2014, 10:41pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 July, 2014, 10:41pm


Australia's Aaron Finch seized his chance to shine among some of cricket's greatest players with a commanding innings of 181 not out as the MCC beat the Rest of the World in the Lord's bicentenary match.

Set 294 to win a one-day match marking the 200th anniversary of the "home of cricket", MCC finished on 296 for three with 25 balls to spare against an equally star-studded Rest of the World team.

Finch, already in England playing for Yorkshire, was involved in partnerships with three of the best batsmen cricket has known to cap a memorable Lord's debut for the 27-year-old Victoria right-hander.

It was a special innings, I was telling [Finch], 'It was a joy to watch you play'. I'm sure we'll see him in the long form of the game as well
Sachin Tendulkar

He put on 107 for the first wicket with Indian hero Sachin Tendulkar, cricket's leading run-scorer in both tests and one-day internationals.

Finch then added 67 and 122 with two contrasting West Indies left-handers in Brian Lara (23) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (37 not out) respectively.

Tendulkar said it would not be long before Finch, who made a Twenty20 world-record 156 against England at Southampton last year, made his test debut.

"It was a special innings, I was telling him, 'It was a joy to watch you play'," Tendulkar said.

"I'm sure we'll see him in the long form of the game as well."

However, one sadness for a capacity crowd was that Rest of the World captain Shane Warne was unable to bowl after his first ball batting saw the leg-spin legend suffer a broken right hand when he was struck by an accidental beamer from fast bowler Brett Lee.

Asked if he and former Australia teammate were still friends, Warne jokingly said: "We were."

As for Finch, his fellow Victorian, Warne said: "He's a fantastic player, I would love to see him in Australian colours in test matches."

Earlier, Yuvraj Singh's blistering 132 off 134 balls took the Rest of the World to 293 for seven after they had collapsed to 68 for five following four cheap wickets - Adam Gilchrist, Tamim Iqbal, Kevin Pietersen and Shahid Afridi - for Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal.

Tendulkar, who only retired in November, gave his adoring fans in a capacity Lord's crowd plenty to remember him by with the pick of his seven fours a straight drive down the ground off current Australia fast bowler Peter Siddle.