On this day in 2019: Aaron Finch’s 153* crushes Sri Lanka in World Cup

Aaron Finch is arguably the most underrated batter in modern-day cricket in limited-overs cricket. The opening batter has the reputation of playing some impactful knocks once he gets set and gives no chance to the opposition bowlers.

Finch had played a similar whirlwind knock that completely blew away Sri Lanka on this very day in 2019 where he went on to score an unbeaten 153.

When Aaron Finch single-handedly decimated Sri Lanka

The then defending champions Australia and Sri Lanka locked horns in the 2019 World Cup league stage encounter at The Oval. Sri Lankan skipper Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and elected to bowl first.

The Aussies did not mind losing the toss as openers Aaron Finch and David Warner made the most of a good batting surface with an 80-run opening stand. Despite losing two quick wickets the Australians did not panic as captain Finch displayed a counter-attacking knock.

He got some much-needed support from Steve Smith (73) as the duo added 173 runs for the third wicket. The Australian white-ball captain was eventually dismissed in the 43rd over, but by the time he walked back to the pavilion, he had scored 153 runs from 132 deliveries at a strike rate of almost 116. His knock included 15 fours and five sixes. A brilliant cameo from Glenn Maxwell (46*) towards the end powered Australia to a stiff total of 334/7.

The target looked intimidating, but the Lankans were not ready to go down without a fight as skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera added 115 runs for the opening stand before the latter was cleaned up by Mitchell Starc for a 36-ball 52.

Karunaratne, on the other hand, fell agonizingly short of a deserving century by just three runs. Unfortunately for the Lankans, the batters that followed failed to show any resistance as they completely lost the plot in their stiff run chase as they were eventually bundled out for just 247 in the 46th over.

For Australia Mitchell Starc was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4/55 from his 10 overs at an impressive economy rate of 5.50. Kane Richardson and Pat Cummins registered 3/47 and 2/38 respectively while Jason Behrendorff chipped in with a wicket.  Aaron Finch was adjudged the Player of the Match award for his match-winning century.