A record breaking innings by opening batsman Aaron Finch helped Australia to a 39 run victory at the Ageas Bowl with Finch breaking the highest individual score in International T20 with a remarkable 156.
That astonishing innings off just 63 balls powered the visitors to 248-6 with England plundered all over the park and in truth only fast bowler Jade Dernbach impressed with the ball. The Surrey man took 3-34 in his four overs while every other bowler went for at least 11 an over.
Finch opened with Test player David Warner but it was the lesser known man from Victoria that went on to produce an innings that will never be forgotten in Southampton. The 26-year-old hit an incredible 25 boundaries which included 14 maximums on his way to the highest ever individual score in an International T20.
What made his innings even more staggering was the fact he had only hit 14 boundaries in his International T20 career of six games before tonight.
Finch beat New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum’s 123 against Bangladesh and narrowly missed out on the quickest ever century in a knock where Stuart Broad and his men had no answers.
Broad who captains the T20 side mixed things up but in truth his experiments didn’t pay off with four overs which were shared by Joe Root, Luke Wright and Ravi Bopara going for 69 runs with no wickets.
Shaun Marsh supported Finch well in making 28 while Shane Watson smashed 37 off 16 balls to propel Australia to a mammoth total of 248-6 in 20overs.
The hosts started their innings with some vigour too and were 33-0 thanks to Michael Lumb and Alex Hales before a collapse of four wickets for nine runs put their backs firmly up against the wall. Lumb, Hales, Wright and Eoin Morgan all fell before Bopara and Root did their best to drag them back into the game.
The Yorkshire man brought up his 50 off just 29 in a superb knock while Warner caught Bopara on 45 off 29 balls off the bowling of Watson which killed off any miniscule chance they had of winning.
Jos Buttler supported Root well with an impressive 27 off 17 balls as the English top scorer ended on 90 off 49 balls and the hosts 209-6 which meant Australia beat beat England by 39 runs.
England head coach Ashley Giles will be impressed by Englan'd efforts with the bat but Root's fabulous innings was overshadowed by Finch's heroics which gave his side a 1-0 lead.
The next and final T20 game is on Saturday at Durham at 2.30pm.