Zimbabwe: A slew of records tumbled as Australia destroyed Zimbabwe by 100 runs in the Twenty20 tri-series at Harare Sports Club on Tuesday.
Australian captain Aaron Finch powered his way to 172, a new world record high score in T20 internationals, and his opening partnership with D'Arcy Short put up 223, another world record. Australia reached 229 for 2, the highest total ever scored against Zimbabwe in a T20I.
Finch cracked his first six in the fourth over of the morning, and with his third he brought up a 22-ball half century, his fastest in Twenty20 internationals. Australia took 75 from the Powerplay, with Finch doing the bulk of the scoring while Short was content to turn the strike over to his big-hitting partner.
When the team hundred came up halfway through the 10th over, Finch had 74 runs to his name, while Short had managed just 19 from the 24 balls he had faced. Short soon began to find the middle of his own bat, though, and took a brace of sixes off Ryan Burl's legspin to take his strike rate to over a run a ball.
Finch, meanwhile, brought up his second T20I hundred at the end of the 14th over, a century which took just 50 deliveries. Four overs later, his 15th four took Australia's score to 200, and Finch then moved beyond 150 with a swipe to deep midwicket.
Soon afterwards, he surpassed his own world record high score of 156 with his ninth six. Short eventually fell swinging across the line at fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani to be caught for 46, while Finch fell in bizarre circumstances in the final over. Stretching out to hit a full delivery from Muzarabani, he over-balanced and kicked his own stumps to be out hit wicket.
While Muzarabani finished with two wickets to his name, left-arm spinner Tendai Chisoro was the only bowler to escape severe punishment. It appeared Zimbabwe might make a fist of their huge chase when openers Solomon Mire and Chamu Chibhabha rushed past 40 in the fourth over, but once they were dismissed regular wickets quickly stalled the innings.
Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar raced through four overs conceding just 16, while Andrew Tye's seamers were even more effective. Tye took 3 for 12 as Australia inflicted one last record against the host Zimbabwe, who slumped to their largest-ever defeat in T20Is. Zimbabwe will take on Pakistan on Wednesday in the tri-series' next match.