Aaron Finch broke his own world record for the highest individual Twenty20 international score with a stunning 172 as Australia beat Zimbabwe by 100 runs in Tuesday’s Tri-Series clash in Harare.
After the tourists were inserted to bat, captain Finch moved past the 156 he made against England in 2013 and had the highest-ever T20 knock, Chris Gayle’s 175, in his sights.
He subsequently ended up falling just short of that mark in bizarre circumstances as, with two balls of the innings left, he chased a wide delivery from Blessing Muzarabani and hit his own wicket.
Finch’s 172 came off 76 balls and comprised 16 fours and 10 maximums.
His stand of 223 with opening partner D’Arcy Short was also a new record, the highest ever score for an international T20 partnership, beating the 171 registered by New Zealand’s Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson against Pakistan in 2016.
Short’s 46 came off 42 balls in an Australian total of 229 for two, while Zimbabwe bowler Tendai Chisoro remarkably conceded just 19 runs from his four overs.
Andrew Tye then posted figures of three for 12 as Zimbabwe made 129 for nine in reply, with Solomon Mire having made the biggest contribution to their batting effort with 28.
Finch was quoted on www.espncricinfo.com as saying: “It was nice to get a few in the middle, and break the record.
“This innings is right up there. They don’t happen very often, so very pleased with it.”
He had earlier said after Australia’s innings: “I knew about the records when I was batting, but a few things went my way today.
“I was captain of the opposition when Gayle got 175, so I remembered that record as well!”
It was a Pune Warriors side captained by Finch against whom Gayle made his historic score for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League in 2013.
Australia’s victory on Tuesday came a day on from them beating the other side in the series, Pakistan, by nine wickets.
They next play on Thursday when they face Pakistan again, then have another match against Zimbabwe on Friday.
Wednesday’s match sees Zimbabwe, who lost their opener against Pakistan on Sunday by 74 runs, take them on again, and the final is on Sunday.