Victoria 1 for 305 (Finch 188*, Harris 61) beat Queensland 6 for 304 (Khawaja 112, Heazlett 69, Renshaw 66) by nine wickets
A sensational career-best 188 not out from Aaron Finch dominated Victoria’s commanding chase of 305 against Queensland at the Junction Oval.
Finch clubbed 11 fours and 14 sixes to post his highest List A score, and Victoria’s best in one-day cricket, as they cruised to their target with 34 balls and nine wickets in hand. He shared century stands with Sam Harper and Marcus Harris to help inflict Queensland’s first defeat of the tournament and overshadow Usman Khawaja‘s second straight century earlier in the day.
Just two days after Victoria’s top order capitulated against the same attack, Finch’s power-packed performance, in conjunction with a change in batting order, helped the home side turn the tables on Queensland.
Harper came into the side at the expense of Will Pucovski and was promoted to open alongside Finch, while Harris was shifted to No. 3 for the first time in his List A career. Finch and Harper put on 136 in 17.5 overs to put Queensland under huge pressure with Finch racing to his fastest domestic half-century in just 29 balls with six fours and three sixes.
He lost Harper, who fell for a run-a-ball 44 trying to ramp Marnus Labuschagne over short fine, but Finch’s range-hitting session didn’t stop as he peppered the windows of Cricket Victoria’s administration building and the heritage-listed grandstands. He reached his third domestic one-day century for Victoria in 73 balls and then kept rolling to his second score 150-plus and his highest List A score.
He was dropped by wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson on 129, but it was a difficult chance high to his right off Billy Stanlake on 129.
Finch’s demolition gave Harris a chance to spend some time at the crease. He made the most of a huge let-off, after he was dropped by Labuschagne at cover on 4, to cruise to an unbeaten half-century. Finch finished the game with his 14th six in the 45th over, the second-most sixes in an Australian domestic one-day game.
Victoria looked set to chase a far bigger score as a sense of déjà vu set in when Khawaja and Sam Heazlett exploded with another impressive opening stand. Just two days after putting on 185 against Victoria they added 118 in 17 overs on another superb batting track.
Heazlett raced to his fourth consecutive half-century of the tournament but he again failed to turn it into three-figures, misjudging the length of Jon Holland to be trapped lbw for 69 from just 51 balls.
Khawaja converted his second successive century, but he did ride his luck. He was dropped by Harper behind the stumps on 22, a relatively straight forward chance off the inside edge, and survived a huge lbw shout on 49 off Holland. The umpire felt Khawaja got just outside the line attempting a paddle sweep but replays showed he may have been hit in line with off stump. He was dropped again on 104, with Matthew Short unable to hold onto a diving chance at backward point.
The innings slowed a touch when Victoria utilized the offspin of both Short and Glenn Maxwell to the left-handed pair of Khawaja and Matt Renshaw. They added 83 but it took 91 balls before Khawaja fell trying to up the ante with seven overs to go.
Renshaw passed 50 for the second time this season Queensland were able to creep just past 300 on a surface that certainly slowed up towards the back end of the innings. In the end, it was well under par