Finch and Marsh hit hundreds before England fight back against Australia

Aaron Finch hit a century as Australia scored 310 on Thursday batting first against England in the fourth ODI.
AFP

Chester-le-Street (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Australia’s Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh both hit hundreds before England fought back to hold the world champions to 310 for eight in the fourth one-day international at Chester-le-Street on Thursday.

The tourists, 3-0 down in this five-match series after England posted an all-time ODI record 481 for six during a 242-run win at Trent Bridge on Tuesday, were on course for a large total at 225 for one in the 40th over.

But fast bowler Mark Wood took two wickets in an over on his Durham home ground before left-arm quick David Willey topped that with three wickets in the 48th over on his way to figures of four for 43.

Although Finch (100) and Marsh, whose 101 was his second hundred of the series, both reached three figures, neither lasted long after posting their respective centuries.

Even so, Australia’s total topped the previous Riverside ODI ground record of 307 for five, made by England against New Zealand 10 years ago.

It was no surprise when Australia captain Tim Paine, who fielded first at Nottingham, decided to bat when he won Thursday’s toss.

Finch celebrated his return to his regular opening berth, after D’Arcy Short was dropped, by pulling the first ball of the match, a Wood long hop, for four.

Finch was, however, given a reprieve on eight when a diving Alex Hales at midwicket failed to hold onto what would have been a brilliant catch following a fiercely hit pull off Wood.

Craig Overton, given an ODI debut after England rested fellow paceman Liam Plunkett, saw his first ball at this level — a short and wide delivery outside off stump — cut to the boundary by Travis Head.

This was one of nine fours he struck in a 43-ball fifty.

But Head got himself out on 63 when he carelessly hit a long-hop from leg-spinner Adil Rashid to Willey at deep midwicket.

England captain Eoin Morgan brought on Test skipper Joe Root, as his first change and saw the part-time off-spinner’s 10 economical overs cost just 44 runs.

Finch pulled Overton for six to go to 90 before completing a 105-ball century including six fours and three sixes.

He received excellent support from Marsh in a stand of 124.

Finch’s 11th ODI century ended on exactly 100 when he was lbw to a Wood delivery that cut back.

Wood made it two wickets for two runs in just five balls when later in the same over he clean bowled Marcus Stoinis with a similar delivery that cut back in. 

Marsh went to his hundred in style by launching Rashid for the fourth six of a 91-ball innings.

Rashid’s final over cost 25 runs. 

A ball after Alex Carey holed out off Willey, Marsh was also dismissed when he found a backpedalling Jason Roy at long-on who, before he stepped over the boundary, reverse-flicked the ball back infield for Overton to complete an extraordinary catch.

Paine survived the hat-trick, but two balls later Willey had Michael Neser caught behind by Jos Buttler.

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