Aaron Finch has had a phenomenal run of form ever since returning to the top of the order, last night he romped his way to an unbeaten 131 for Surrey against Sussex in a South Group fixture of the Vitality Blast 2018 at Brighton. His imposing innings helped Surrey win in comfortable style, the 52-run win margin taking them to fourth place on the points table of their group, just inching ahead of Glamorgan.
Chasing Surrey's 192, Sussex never found the groove to get to the target, with the opener Phillip Salt's 74 off 47 being the only significant contribution. England's newest fast bowling prospect Sam Curran lived up to his billing conceding only 14 runs for a wicket in his quota of four overs, and his two maiden overs never allowed the Sharks to get off to the start they most desperately wanted.
Finch survived an early scare in the innings after he popped up an easy catch to star paceman Jofra Archer who shelled it, he was at 1 when he was dropped. After that he was absolutely unstoppable as he carted the Sussex bowlers all over the Hove, particularly targeting the short leg-side boundaries on one end and similarly the petite off-side dimensions on the other end, a tactic Chris Gayle used to the utmost effect at the same ground in 2015.
Finch's ten fours and seven sixes helped him to score the highest Twenty20 individual score for Surrey, beating English star opener Jason Roy's 122* scored against Somerset at The Oval in 2015. He now sits behind only David Warner and Michael Klinger in the list for most Twenty20 hundreds by an Australian.
The innings was Finch's fifth Twenty20 century and his second in as many weeks after he racked up 172 off 76 balls for Australia in Harare against Zimbabwe in the recently concluded tri-series. It also happened to be his second hundred against Sussex, having scored 114 against them last year, but this time around he had to negotiate with the impressively potent leg-spinner Rashid Khan, he dealt with him effectively hitting him for two fours and two sixes.
This will perhaps reinstate Finch's role as solely the opener of a side after he had a miserable run in the Indian Premier League where he played in the middle order for Kings XI Punjab and struggled for the entirety of the tournament, similarly he was made to bat in the middle order for Australia on their most recent tour of England and runs were hard to come by, but once he was restored to the top of the order, normalcy and carnage were equally restored to their respective places.Published 14 Jul 2018, 12:30 IST