Home » Finch career hangs in balance after slump-breaking knock

Finch career hangs in balance after slump-breaking knock

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Finch defied the critics and injury to lead Australia to a 42-run victory, blasting 63 off 44, but the bliss of his match-winning innings was swept away by the fear he may have played his last game in the green and gold.“Yeah a little hammy twinge I think. I’ll get a scan tomorrow. Unfortunately I’ve had a history of them,” a downbeat Finch said after accepting the man-of-the-match award.“We’ll see how it goes. It doesn’t feel too bad at the moment but generally overnight they can stiffen up but we’ll get a scan and get the full results.”Australia finished the match with three sub-fielders and Matthew Wade as captain after Finch, Tim David and Marcus Stoinis all departed with hamstring concerns.David and Stoinis complained of tightness however Finch’s hamstring bears the greatest concern, with the Aussies fearing a strain that could sideline him for the remainder of the World Cup.Australia’s win piles pressure on the Poms to respond in-kind against New Zealand, however with both Finch and Tim David falling foul to hamstring injuries it places Steve Smith and Cameron Green on high alert ahead of a do-or-die clash with Afghanistan on Friday.Finch spearheaded a 179-run first innings total, reprising the same staying power he showed at the crease against Sri Lanka but with much more gusto than the Perth knock that had some calling for him to be dropped from the side.Australia’s bowlers then feasted on the Irish top-order, with the men in green at one point 5-35 before a brilliant 71 off 48 from Lorcan Tucker made for a nervy final few overs in the reigning champions’ dugout.The win was vital but just as important were the runs, which lifted Australia’s woeful net run-rate to within striking distance of England ahead of their blockbuster showdown with the Kiwis at the same venue on Tuesday.The late flurry from Ireland marginalized what at one point looked like a massive boost for the Aussies, who improved their meager numbers but still lag behind in the race for top-two in the group.But for now all eyes are on the fitness of Finch, who played out his batting innings and started the match in the field before hobbling off down the race mid-way through the Irish run chase.David played an unbeaten batting cameo with 15 off 10 but no part after that – replaced by Smith in the field before Pat Cummins’ opening ball.The extent of the injuries will be revealed in the coming days but will once again put a spotlight on selection, with Smith and Green waiting in the wings for their first taste of World Cup action.If the Aussie skipper’s injury is serious it could well be his final game in the green and gold and if so, what a way to bow out.Finch’s knock was much-needed after opening partner David Warner departed for three and neither Mitch Marsh (28 off 22) nor Glenn Maxwell (13 off 9) were able to stay at the crease with their under pressure skipper.Stoinis’s arrival heralded a big-hitting bash, which included a three-over stint for 42 runs helped along by a horror 11-ball over from Mark Adair.Finch was caught on the boundary three overs short of seeing his country home and though Stoinis joined him shortly after, the pair had done the necessary damage to push Australia’s net run-rate back into respectable territory.Mitch Starc, Adam Zampa, Maxwell and Cummins finished with two wickets each, while Stoinis chimed in for a scalp from his sole over.After a blistering double-wicket maiden to start the innings Starc ultimately went for more than 10 an over as Tucker teed off late in the Irish run-chase.Zampa was at his economical best on return to the side from Covid, going at 4.75 from his four overs.RE-LIVE ALL THE ACTION FROM AUSTRALIA’S WIN IN OUR ROLLING BLOG BELOW10.20PM - AUSTRALIA SEAL 42-RUN WIN AFTER WAGGING IRISH TAILTucker gave this finish a touch of the ‘so you’re telling me there’s a chance’ vibes, but he’s fast running out of partners.Barry McCarthy came and went cheaply, caught in the deep by Steve Smith off Pat Cummins.Down the other end, Tucker did doing his best Virat Kohli impersonation to give Ireland the faintest of hopes - and kill Australia’s dream of a run-rate boost.But it is all wrapped up by a run-out with Ireland trying to get Tucker back on strike, with Josh Little caught short for 1.Australia gets the win, and gives their run rate a bit of a nudge - so in that sense it is job done for Aaron Finch’s men.Perhaps more worrying is the fitness concerns over Finch and his hamstring, and power-hitting Tim David - who failed to feature in the field at all.10.05PM - ZAMPA SNARES A SECONDAdam Zampa has two, bowling Fionn Hand around his legs as he walks across the stumps to walk off with a run-a-ball six.Zampa finishes with 2-19 from four economical overs.Ireland are circling the drain a bit here, though not because of Lorcan Tucker who has put in a lone hand performance to drag Ireland towards some respectability tonight.He's putting in a Bannerman-esque performance, posting more than half of Ireland’s runs - and he’ll be cheered on by more than just Irish fans. England ones are thrilled with it at as well.His innings ensures England’s net run rate will remain superior to Australia’s after tonight’s match, meaning destiny will be in their hands if they are to win their final two matches.9.50PM - CUMMINS SPILLS A SCREAMER, ZAMPA STEPS UPDROPPED! Mitchell Starc is not happy with his (Test) captain, as Pat Cummins puts down a tough chance to get rid of the dangerous Lorcan Tucker.Tucker skies a chance that would’ve hit the roof at the Gabba, if there was one.In truth, Cummins didn’t get close to it, running back from square leg, and Tucker is given a life as Ireland chip away.But two balls later, Adam Zampa strikes to break the 23-run partnership as he draws Mark Adair down the track and has Matthew Wade whip the bails off in quick time.Australia are 3 wickets away from victory - Ireland still 89 runs. But Australa would like to wrap this up quickly - a win by 74 or more will improve their runrate ahead of England’s.9.40PM - IRELAND LOSING WAR ON TWO FRONTSThe end is nigh for Ireland, as they manage a war on two fronts: trying to keep pace with a ballooning runrate, and the cost of wickets that come with keeping up that fight.Gareth Delany is their latest victim, mishiting a pull shot as Marcus Stoinis joins the attack to great success.It is a tough catch in the end for Glenn Maxwell who has to contend with Steve Smith screaming in from long-on as the ball hung in the air for an age.But Maxwell charges across from midwicket and takes a fine catch, sending Delany on his way for 14.Ireland are 6-68 - and with the required runrate rushing past 10 an over, they’re starting to take risks. Australia have blown two run-out chances in the past few overs as Ireland start to lose their heads a little bit here.9.30PM - FINCH SUCCUMBS TO HAMSTRING INJURYAaron Finch’s night looks like it’s done - the hamstring injury is seriously hindering him as he limps from the field.Everthing else has gone to plan for Australia today, but losing their skipper - after his best performance of the tournament... and really, in months - is not something coach Andrew McDonald will be smiling about.Hamstring injuries are notoriously tricky to deal with - and Australia has another quick turnaround, with their final Super 12 fixture against Afghanistan on Friday.You’d have to assume Finch would be in some doubt, with Steve Smith and Cameron Green the likely candidates to fill his spot if he doesn’t come good.9.25PM - IRELAND’S POWERPLAY HORRORSHOWThat powerplay could hardly have gone worse for Ireland - they were rocked and rolled and Even with 14 runs from Mitchell Starc’s second over, which closed the powerplay on 5-49, Ireland face a monumental task to save this match.Starc (2-13) and Glenn Maxwell (2-6) ripped the heart out of their top order and made the 180 target look even more intimidating.Lorcan Tucker looks the last great hope for the Irish, unbeaten on 14.9.10PM - IRELAND HOPES IN TATTERSThese are dream conditions for Mitchell Starc, and a worst-case scenario for Ireland.They are four wickets down inside four overs, and staring at a mammoth task to drag themselves back into this match.Curtis Campher is the latest to fall, having his stumps destroyed by an inswinging thunderbolt from Starc for a duck.He repeated the dose with another superb yorker to uproot the offstump as George Dockrell added to the duck column.Ireland have now lost FIVE for seven. Suddenly Australia smells blood. And it’s looking very, very scary in the middle of the Gabba.9.00PM - HAZLEWOOD STUMPED, AUSSIES GET KEY SCALPSA dramatic start to Ireland’s innings as they survive what appeared a certain dismissal - and then lost three wickets in the blink of an eye.Australia thought they had their first wicket through Josh Hazlewood in the opening over when Andrew Balbirnie played and missed, with a clear sound like there was a thick edge... but it’s a noise from hitting the stumps - while failing to dislodge the bails.“Maybe that ball has hit the stumps - it’s hit the stumps, definitely,” says Michael Clarke in commentary.Luck of the Irish, eh?Balbirnie follows up with an outrageous pull for six to compound Hazlewood’s frustrations from the non-dismissal.However Balbirnie’s luck runs out the very next over, as he’s clean bowled by Pat Cummins after walking across the crease and exposing his stumps.Cummins was again involved when opening partner Paul Stirling slashed at Glenn Maxwell and sliced a low offering to the Aussie quick at mid-off.Maxwell nabbed a second wicket in his over when Harry Tector pulled a short ball to straight to sub fielder Steve Smith.In the blink of an eye, Ireland’s innings has gone up in flames.8.45PM - LATE FLURRY GIVES AUSSIES BIG TOTAL- By Callum Dick at the GabbaIt may be enough to win the match, but will 179 be enough to get Australia into the knockout stages of their home world cup?We won’t know for a while yet but it’s tough to feel particularly enthusiastic about that batting performance from the hosts, Aaron Finch and Marcus Stoinis aside.The skipper responded to his critics with 63 off 44 that was every bit measured as it was powerful and The Hulk again pushed the envelope with a much-needed 35 from 25.Warner, Marsh and Maxwell came and went but Finch did his job as a staying hand at the crease before running out of steam, caught on the rope three overs from home.Marsh revealed at the end of the innings Finch may have twanged his hammy during the innings; if Australia gets through to the knockout stages we may look back at this as a truly heroic knock from the captain.It wasn’t quite vintage Finch but his three sixes were enough to draw equal with Chris Gayle on 174 T20i sixes, good for third all-time – and boy were they needed.After that 42-run stretch over three overs, helped along by that horror Mark Adair 11-ball stint that went for 26, Australia looked poised for the 200-plus score all the punters not wearing Irish green arrived at the Gabba hoping to see.Marsh says 180 is “about par” given the slow wicket. Now it’s time to do a job with the ball and live to fight another day. 8.30pm - FINCH, STOINIS GO OUT WITH A BANGAaron Finch’s innings comes to an end - 63 from 44, and it finished with a flurry of activity.After scratching his way through the 20s, and 30s, he opened the shoulders to pick up 23 from his final eight deliveries.And he departs with another mighty slog, which is caught at long-on to give McCarthy a third wicket.But he’s helped put Australia back on track for a total that should nudge towards 200.Par score at the Gabba this tournament is 165, which will put Australia in position to turn the screws on Ireland - and potentially rebuild their tournament run rate.But their cause will be hurt by Marcus Stoinis becoming Josh Little’s second wicket - picking up Dockrell at backward point. He goes for 35 from 25.Ireland have pulled this back a touch.8.20PM - FINCH BREAKS SLUMP WITH 50Australia has laid the platform. And now they need to cash in.Between Stoinis and Finch they take 42 runs in the space of 12 balls, with Mark Adair leaking 26 - including four wides, and then a towering full-toss six from Finch to bring up his half-century.He brought it up off 38 balls, and a big finish would do wonders for his confidence.Australia are creeping dangerously close to a healthy total here - they’re 3-134 with five overs remaining. A few more 26-run overs would do the trick.8.10PM - FINCH UNDER PRESSURE, STOINIS EXPLODESAustralia brings up the 100 via an 89m six from Marcus Stoinis - but it hasn’t come until the 14th over.With just six overs remaining Australia are 3-108 with their runrate is hovering around 7.5 - and after a couple of explosive shots early, Aaron Finch has well and truly come back to the pack. He’s 40 from 36 and has soaked up a lot of deliveries.Instead it is Marcus Stoinis who looks like he holds the hopes of a big total in his hands.He’s denied a huge six by a staggering piece of fielding on the boundary by Barry McCarthy - the opening bowler saving four runs when he leapt over the boundary to steal a six, and throw it back into the field of play.“That is outrageous athleticism... (from) the big quick. I cannot believe it, that is fabulous work,” says Shane Watson in commentary.7.55PM - MAXWELL GOES, AUSSIES IN STRIFEForget the run-rate boost - Australia needs to be careful they don’t suffer a similar fate to England here!Because Ireland are up and about. They’ve limited Australia on the scoreboard and have just removed another dangerman.This time it’s Glenn Maxwell who offers up a thick edge to Lorcan Tucker behind the stumps - giving Josh Little his first wicket of the night.Maxwell goes for 13 from 9.... and Australia are 3-84 after 11 overs, tracking along at a fairly modest 7.5 an over.Finch is still there, but striking in the mid 120s is not going to give Australia the mighty target they want. He’s joined by Marcus Stoinis and one - or both - of them really needs to hit the go button soon.7.45PM - MAXWELL SURVIVES DOUBLE-DRS DRAMAGlenn Maxwell got a fright when given out LBW against Gareth Delany - but an instant review from the Big Show saw it overturned via a thick edge into the pad.The very next delivery, Maxwell attempts a switch hit and is again struck on the pad.This one looks close - and after failing to convince the umpire, Ireland also turn to DRS only to be let down as the delivery was pitching outside leg-stump.Ane ventful over, which Maxwell finished with a towering six straight down the ground.At the halfway point in their innings Australia are 2-78.7.30PM - MARSH ERUPTS.... AND DEPARTSWho needs a power play?Mitchell Marsh proves that any over can be a power play, if you want it to, by launching two enormous sixes into the Gabba crowd off Fionn Hand to ignite Australia’s innings.The first was a 102-metre bomb which sailed over deep midwicket and into the top deck. he followed it up two balls alter with another almighty slog into the same region to join Finch on 24.But he can only add four more before he’s sent packing via a thick edge to the keeper off McCarthy - who grabs his second.The wicket, to start the ninth over, leaves Australia 1-60.7.25PM - FINCH LAUNCHES INTO POWERPLAYAaron Finch had a scratchy start, but the runs are starting to flow. Has Australia’s captain got his mojo back?He unloaded with a monster six into the Gabba crowd to kick-start his innings, and has spearheaded Australia’s total of 1-38 from their opening six-over powerplay.Finch picked Adair off a length and thrashed a mighty front foot hoik over long-on. That was a powerful shot, and was backed up by an excellent inside-out cover shot for a boundary.He’s starting to find his rhythm.Finch is unbeaten on 23, with Mitchell Marsh 11 from 13 and Australia bouncing back from the early loss of David Warner.7.10PM - IRELAND LAND MAJOR EARLY BREAKTHROUGHThat’s a huge wicket - and a dream start for Ireland.Barry McCarthy grabs the massive scalp of David Warner with his first ball, drawing the Aussie firecracker into a false shot down legside - with his meek pull picking out Mark Adair at short fine leg.Warner goes for 3 from 7 and that is a disastrous start from Australia, who are 1-8 in the third over.Aaron Finch is still there, but has not looked terribly confident - and was absolutely undone by England seamer Mark Adair, who beat the Aussie skipper all ends up with a delightful delivery which swung away just enough to miss off-stump.That was a gem of a delivery and Finch is probably breathing a sigh of relief that it didn’t rattle the stumps. He’s due a bit of luck.6.55PM - FINCH’S BIG TESTWith Australia batting first, Aaron Finch has a golden opportunity to bat himself out of the funk he finds himself in.Can the prospect of a glorious Gabba deck be enough to see a return of the swashbuckling opener we’ve become accostomed to seeing in Finch?Former coach Darren Lehmann certainly wants to see it happen.“I’d like to see Finch really take the game on and not be afraid to get out,” said on SEN.“It almost looks like he wants to take it on but also doesn’t want to get out. They can get to 200 on this wicket.“I’m a little surprised Ireland bowled actually. I thought they should have batted first. That’s how they beat England. I think Australia might post a big score batting first.”6.30PM - AUSTRALIA BAT FIRST IN KEY CLASHAustralia’s World Cup hopes - again - go on the line tonight, with another do-or-die match against Ireland at the Gabba.And they’ll be batting first, after Aaron Finch lost the toss on Monday night and was sent in.Australia’s two Covid-impacted players, Adam Zampa and Matthew Wade, have both been named, as selectors stick with their preferred XI.Zampa, who comes in for Ashton Agar, is the only change from Australia’s win over Sri Lanka last week.Finch was aware of the run-rate issue, but said it wasn’t at the forefront of his mind.“It’s obviously an issue after copping a decent thumping in the first game against New Zealand,” Finch said.“But what you’ve got to do is make sure you’re doing the basics really well and if that opportunity presents you look to take it. But as soon as you try to force it too much you get yourself into trouble.”TEAMSAUSTRALIA: David Warner, Aaron Finch (capt), Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Matthew Wade, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh HazlewoodIRELAND: Paul Stirling, Andy Balbirnie, Lorcan Tucker, Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Gareth Delany, Mark Adair, Fionn Hand, Barry McCarthy, Josh Little.Catch the T20 World Cup Live on Kayo. Don’t Risk Missing All Your Teams’ Matches. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >Australia v Ireland6.10PM - HOW ARE THE WEATHER GODS FEELING?Rain - and lots of it - has been a constant threat through the World Cup so far, with four games washed out.So, 20 minutes away from the all-important toss and team news, what are the weather gods playing at tonight?Well, there there’s a bit of rain around the Brisbane area, but - fingers crossed - it doesn’t look like it will be enough to impact the game tonight.The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a 10 per cent chance of rain, but it seems unlikely to come until after the scheduled finish time of 10pm.The news is not so good for tomorrow’s fixture between England and New Zealand, with a 100 per cent chance of rain and a chance of a thunderstorm in the morning and afternoon.5.50PM - AUSTRALIA’S TWIN DEMONS AGAINST IRELANDWhat does Australia need out of tonight?Well, first and foremost it is a win - anything less, including a rained-out affair, would be a disaster for Aaron Finch and his men as they try to claw their way back from an enormous first-up defeat against New Zealand.But in addition to victory, Australia would also be well served trying to make a bit of a dent in their terrible net run rate, which remains the worst in Group 1 after three games.A remnant from their heavy loss to New Zealand, Australia has a -1.555 net run rate. It is for that reason they come into Monday night’s game sitting behind Ireland, despite both boasting a win, a loss and a washout through three games.Victory would put Australia level with New Zealand on 5 points, ahead of the Black Caps crucial fixture against England tomorrow night - for which the weather forecast is quite dire, with another possible washed-out game on its way.But should England defeat New Zealand, and Australia win against Ireland, all three teams would be on five points leading into the final matches of the group stage, making the net run rate a vital factor.Finch says the idea of going into a match worrying about boosting your run rate is fraught with danger, however.“You have to earn the right to go after a run-rate performance,” Finch said.“We’ve seen how damaging Ireland can be if you give them a sniff in a game, so you’d never go into a game thinking about things like that (run-rate).“I think that will naturally unfold if the opportunity presents but, first and foremost, you have to do the basics well and make sure you get your team into a position where you can push forward.“The last thing you want to do is push too hard, leave yourself a lot to do, then end up in a bit of a stick or twist.”
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