Australian cricket fans were paring for a fairytale finish, but Aaron Finch’s incredible ODI career has ended with a whimper.
Australian cricket fans were praying for a fairytale finish, but Aaron Finch’s incredible ODI career has ended with a whimper.
The departing white-ball captain was dismissed cheaply in the third and final ODI against New Zealand on Sunday afternoon, bowled through the gate by Black Caps veteran Tim Southee for 5.
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After getting a handful of deliveries to swing away from the right-handed Finch, Southee produced a gem that nipped back through the gate and crashed into the middle stump.
The modest crowd at Cazalys Stadium gave Finch a standing ovation as he exited the field, sheepishly raising his bat at the Cairns spectators.
“When he was at the peak of his powers, teams feared bowling to Aaron Finch,” West Australian seamer Jason Behrendorff told ABC Grandstand.
“They knew he could smack them around the park. The second part, having played under him, was the care he showed and the way he went about his captaincy.
Australian wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy tweeted: “Bugger … but that’s some class bowling.”
Finch announced his retirement from ODI cricket on Saturday morning, confirming the third match of this week’s Chappell-Hadlee Trophy would be his last for Australia in the 50-over format.
The World Cup champion, who has played 146 ODIs since making his international debut in 2011, will continue to lead the national T20 side.
Australia is expected to announce a new ODI captain in November ahead of next year’s World Cup in India, with Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and Alex Carey among the leading candidates.
Finch has scored 5406 runs at 38.89 and smacked 17 centuries in ODI cricket since 2013, winning a World Cup title on home soil in 2015.
The powerful opening batter has captained Australia on 55 occasions in the 50-over format, winning 30 ODI matches as skipper.
Speaking to reporters in Cairns on Saturday morning, Finch revealed he had informed his teammates of his decision to retire after the second ODI against New Zealand.
“I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved,” he said.
“I’ve enjoyed the ride every step of the way. There’s been nothing I would change about it, obviously maybe a few DRS reviews over my time, I’ve been shocking at that.
“I told them after the game the other night. It was quite cool actually. Maxy was in tears. It was quite funny.”
Australia made two changes to its starting XI for the third ODI against New Zealand; young gun Cameron Green replaced all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, who had suffered a minor side strain, and wicketkeeper Josh Inglis swapped with veteran opener David Warner, who had been rested.
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Inglis was the first wicket to fall at Cazalys Stadium on Sunday afternoon, edging a vintage Trent Boult delivery through the wicketkeeper for 10.
And Finch’s departure in the sixth over left Australia reeling at 2/16 with another top-order collapse on the cards.