LONDON: Australia captain Aaron Finch hit a hundred but was out next ball in the champions’ World Cup clash with arch-rivals England at Lord’s on Tuesday (Jun 25).
Australia were 185-3 in the 36th over when Finch, dropped on 15, was dismissed for exactly 100 – the opener’s second hundred of the tournament following his 153 against Sri Lanka.
Together with David Warner (53) he shared a first-wicket stand of 123. It was the pair’s fifth successive partnership of 50 or more at the tournament.
Warner, the World Cup’s leading run-scorer, and Smith were booed as they came in to bat after their recent return from year-long bans for ball-tampering.
England captain Eoin Morgan, who has said it is not his job to tell the crowd how to behave, won the toss in overcast conditions and on a green pitch that promised to help his attack.
Finch earned a reprieved when James Vince at backward point could not hold a tough chance.
The Australia skipper completed a 61-ball fifty and then looked to up the tempo with a legside six off Moeen Ali.
But a partnership worth 123 was broken in the 23rd over when off-spinner Moeen induced Warner to lob a gentle catch to Joe Root, running round from backward point.
Warner was jeered on his way back into the pavilion.
Usman Khawaja made 23 before he was clean bowled by pace-bowling all-rounder Ben Stokes to leave Australia 173-2
Finch went to his century thanks to a misfield by Woakes but next ball he miscued a hook off Archer and Woakes made no mistake with the catch at fine leg.
Finch faced 116 balls, hitting 11 fours and two sixes.
His exit saw Archer become the tournament’s outright leading wicket-taker with 16 scalps.
New batsman Glenn Maxwell hit a straight six and four off successive deliveries from Archer only to fall for 12 when caught behind trying to ‘ramp’ Mark Wood, leaving Australia 213-4 in the 39th over.
England, bidding to win the World Cup for the first time, were unchanged from the side that suffered a surprise 20-run loss to Sri Lanka.
Australia made two changes from the team that Bangladesh by 48 runs in Nottingham, with off-spinner Nathan Lyon replacing leg-spinner Adam Zampa and Jason Behrendorff coming in for fellow paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Only the top four at the end of the 10-team round-robin stage will qualify for the semi-finals.
Australia are currently second in the table.
England, who have also lost to Pakistan, are fourth but any more slip-ups for Morgan’s men in their three remaining pool games against Australia, India and New Zealand could imperil their chances of reaching the knockout stages.
Top-ranked England, however, have won 10 of their past 11 one-day internationals against Australia.