Victoria’s Aaron Finch underlined his undoubted potential and teammate David Hussey highlighted his continued relevance to Australian cricket as the duo spearheaded the greatest run chase in domestic one-day history on Sunday.
Finch (140 off 121 balls) and Hussey (140 not out off 84) led the way as the Bushrangers chased down the Blues’ 350 all out to register 4-352 with 20 balls remaining at North Sydney Oval.
On a wicket tailor made for batting at the small ground, Victoria bettered NSW’s successful chase of 3-318 at the same venue last summer.
“It’s a great feeling to chase down 350,” Finch said.
“I’m very pleased to get the win and to get some runs on the board again.
“The wicket is good and the outfield is pretty small so if can get in you can do some damage. It was a great effort.”
The Victorians started their run chase steadily with a 65-run stand between Finch and Chris Rogers (26 off 29), and moved to 2-107 when Glenn Maxwell (9 off 18) fell to Moises Henriques (2-66 off 11), who was the pick of the NSW bowlers.
But that brought Hussey and 26-year-old Finch together and the duo tore the Blues’ attack apart in their 156-run third-wicket partnership.
Finch, whose innings included 10 sixes and eight fours, smashed several deliveries out of the picturesque ground.
When former Australian Twenty20 representative Finch fell to Henriques in the 38th over to leave Victoria 3-263, any hope NSW had was obliterated by Hussey.
The 35-year-old, whose limited overs international future is up in the air due to indifferent form, took up Finch’s lead in his undefeated knock which included eight sixes and 10 fours as Victoria cruised to victory.
“I was lucky enough to hit a few in the middle,” Hussey told Fox Sports.
“I was very happy but probably more happy with what Aaron Finch did up top.
“It’s a small ground and if you can get a bit of a roll on you can build a big score and the start we had with Chris Rogers and Aaron Finch was sensational.”
Steve Smith anchored the NSW innings with a typically hard-hitting 92 off 68 runs after pinch-hitter Sean Abbott (40 off 16) got the day off to a flyer, having come in at 1-82 after Brad Haddin’s (35 off 44) exit.
The home side were eyeing off a total of 400 until losing 6-68 in the closing overs, with Scott Boland (4-85 off 13 overs) the pick of the Victorian bowlers.