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Finch Stars As Victoria Win

Aaron Finch played scored a nerveless 93 off 60 balls as pre-tournament favourites Victoria overcame a spirited effort by Central Districts to chase 166 with two balls to spare. Central Districts punched above their weight
PTI September 15, 2010 20:39 IST
PTI
Aaron Finch played scored a nerveless 93 off 60 balls as pre-tournament favourites Victoria overcame a spirited effort by Central Districts to chase 166 with two balls to spare. Central Districts punched above their weight for a large part of the match, with their captain Jamie How scoring an equally memorable 77 earlier in the piece, but their bowlers wilted against Finch's assault that was aggressive and measured in equal parts.

Central Districts had finished their innings on a high, How turning around a lacklustre start with a flurry of boundaries in the end. The pressure was on Victoria, desperate to live to their pre-tournament billing. Their chase ran into rough weather early, Rob Quiney and Matthew Wade perishing before they could get off the blocks, raising visions of the failed chase against Warriors in their tournament opener. Finch, however, was reading from a different script.

While David Hussey struggled to connect with the big hits, Finch kept Victoria ticking with some aggressive running and the odd boundary. Without taking risks, he stole four of the five boundaries that came in the six overs following Wade's dismissal. A punch off George Worker through extra-cover in the 12th was followed by a tough return chance that went down. Finch then mowed Kieran Noema-Barnett through midwicket to bring up his fifty in the 13th over, off 40 balls. Hussey's fall in the next over once again gave Central Districts the upperhand, but Finch carried on as if nothing had happened.

Fifty-seven were required off the last five, not your regular walk in the park, but Finch wore an air of calmness that belied the pressure of the situation. Worker was heaved over square-leg in the 16th over; Michael Mason was top-edged to fine-leg in the 17th. Andrew McDonald joined in the fun, cross-batting the bowler over long off in the same over to reduce the equation to 36 off 18.