Australia batsman and captain Aaron Finch broke numerous records as the men in gold thrashed a hapless Zimbabwe attack during their T20 tri-series clash in Harare on Tuesday.
Finch smashed 172 from just 76 deliveries as the Aussies made 229-2 in their 20 overs.
It is the highest score made by any batsman in T20 Internationals, breaking Finch’s own record of 156 from 63 deliveries he made against England in 2013.
Finch added a world-record 223 for the opening stand with D’Arcy Short (46 from 42 balls) in 19.2 overs. It is not only the best opening stand in T20 Internationals but also the highest-ever partnership for any wicket.
They bettered the 171-run stand for the opening wicket between New Zealand’s Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson against Pakistan in Hamilton in 2016.
Finch smashed 16 fours and 10 sixes as Zimbabwe bowlers were dispatched to all corners of the Harare Sports Club. Only Tendai Chisoro escaped with respectable figures of 0-19 from his four overs.
The stand of 223 is the second highest stand in all T20 cricket, falling just short of the 229-run stand between Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers against the Gujarat Lions in IPL 2016.
To cap a manic day in Harare, Finch was dismissed hit-wicket in the final over. Finch thus fell short of the highest ever T20 score of 175 made by Chris Gayle for RCB against Pune in IPL 2013.
Fast bowler Billy Stanlake picked up four top order wickets and finished with sensational figures of 4-8 as Pakistan were reduced to 47-5 inside 10 overs and eventually bowled out for 116.
In the chase, Australia raced to the target just one wicket down and inside 11 overs with captain Aaron Finch smashing 68 from 33 deliveries.
Sarfraz Ahmed’s team started the series with a 74-run win over Zimbabwe on Sunday. With the win, Sarfraz Ahmed became the most successful Pakistan T20 captain with 20 triumphs in the format.
Australia are looking to put the disastrous limited over tour of England behind them. On Monday, Australia won the toss and decided to bowl first.
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Cameron Bancroft admits he has been on an emotional “rollercoaster” since being handed a nine-month ban by Cricket Australia for his role in the ball-tampering scandal.
Bancroft was found guilty of attempting to manipulate the conditions of the ball with yellow sandpaper during the third of four Tests in South Africa in March.
It was an act which led to a widespread condemnation and also saw captain Steve Smith and deputy David Warner receive 12-month suspensions for their respective involvement.
While Bancroft, the most junior member of Australia’s XI in Cape Town, is banned at international and domestic state level, he is preparing to make his comeback in the Northern Territory’s Strike League.
The 25-year-old said in quotes on www.cricket.com.au: “Right now I’m feeling really good. The last couple of months have been a bit of a rollercoaster. You certainly ride the waves of grieving.
“There’s been times where I’ve felt really sad, there’s been times where I’ve felt really angry.
“But overall, I’ve worked really hard on myself, been really busy with a lot of things and right now it’s just another step forward, heading up to Darwin to play some cricket and I’m really looking forward to it.”
The ultimate goal for Bancroft is to once again represent Australia.
He added: “I can’t change what happened in South Africa and that’s something I’m completely accountable for.
“Everything since South Africa I’ve moved towards have been steps closer to one day getting back and playing cricket for Australia again.”
He also revealed he keeps in touch with Smith and Warner.
“I speak to them quite regularly, at least every week,” Bancroft said.
“Whether that’s a phone call or messages, they’re obviously very busy with some things too.
“They’re two really great people and we’ve been looking after each other.
“That’s a value that we really hold closely at the WACA, is this idea of looking after your mates.
“We’ve being going through all of this together and we definitely look out for each other, that’s for sure.”