Australia managed to seal a three-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first One-Day International and even though Aaron Finch scored a match-winning 56, he was far from pleased on Sunday (August 21).
The visitors chased down 227 on a tricky surface against the Sri Lankan spinners and Finch termed the track a ‘poor one’ when he fronted the media after the game. “I don’t think I’ve ever played on a wicket that has spun that much. It was a pretty poor wicket,” he said. “I have never seen a wicket that spun so much in an ODI.
“We did well to track down that total. They’ve got plenty of options and we played exceptionally well to get the team across the line. We made the call to take on the new ball. I think in the subcontinent that’s the way to play. It was nice to help the team get off to a flier.”
Finch got Australia off to a flier and struck a 46-ball 56 before the Sri Lankan spinners dried up the runs in the middle overs. Steve Smith fought hard with a patient 92-ball 58 to keep the team in the game before they crossed the line albeit a bit of wobble in the end.
Finch acknowledged that the team is going to gain a lot of confidence after this performance. “To get to 227 was fantastic,” he said. “You saw how much the ball was spinning. There are always a few facets that we can brush up a little. The boys are going to take a lot of confidence from that performance. Just to get the feeling that we can do well in these extreme conditions that will give us a lot of confidence going forward.”
Finch was also full of praise of his teammate Mitchell Starc, who became the fastest bowler to get to 100 ODI wicket. Starc achieved the milestone in 52 matches, leaving behind Saqlain Mushtaq (53), Shane Bond (54) and Brett Lee (55).
“It’s a fantastic achievement for him,” gushed Finch. “He has been No. 1 for a number of years now. When he gets it right, there’s no one better around. The skills that he has with swing, pace, left-arm angle, the yorkers, he’s a pretty complete package.”
The two teams will now meet at the same venue on Wednesday for the second game of the series.