Marcus Stoinis scores the FASTEST 50 ever for Australia with 17-ball blitz of Sri Lanka as Aaron Finch admits all-rounder’s magical half century spared his blushes after a ‘poor’ knock in Perth
Marcus Stoinis made history on Tuesday night by scoring a magical 17-run half century to breathe new life into Australia’s World Cup campaign, and Aaron Finch could not hide his relief after their victory over Sri Lanka.
The visitors set the reigning world champions a target of 158 runs in Perth, with Australia desperate for a victory after being embarrassed by New Zealand in their opening game at the SCG on Saturday.
It looked as though Australia’s chase would go down to the wire, with David Warner and Mitch Marsh dismissed early, while Finch’s run rate was more akin to a test innings than a T20 knock.
Australian all-rounder hit a record-breaking half century to help his country beat Sri Lanka
But Glenn Maxwell got Australia going with a forceful 23 runs off 12 balls before Stoinis came to the crease to finish the job off, hitting 59 runs off 18 balls to get his side across the line.
It was a record-breaking innings from the 33-year-old, hitting the quickest half century in Australian cricket history, across all formats.
Stoinis revealed after the game that his game plan was to go after the spinners and was delighted to put on such a strong innings on home turf.
Stoinis hit 59 off 18 balls, and 53 off 17 in the fastest half century in any format for Australia
‘I felt comfortable then to have a go at the spinners,’ he said after the win. ‘Once I got in, the plan was just to keep going.
‘To be honest I was really nervous today being at home in Perth with lots of family and friends here but really happy we put on a bit of a clinic today.
‘Mentally I was nice and fresh having some time off with this side strain, but so far so good. I felt good. We played here the other day against England and it was a beautiful wicket. This did look like it was doing a little bit more, especially against the new ball. It’s a beautiful ground, probably the best ground in Australia if not the world.
‘We’ve wrapped this game up and look forward to playing England at the MCG. They’re obviously a very good team so we’ll do our homework again, rest up, get on our flight tomorrow and then go from there.’
Captain Finch, who ended the game on 31 not out from 42 balls, admitted that he did not deliver for his side on the night amid growing pressure.
‘Obviously my innings was unusual. It was poor. I just couldn’t hit the ball. But I thought the way that we approached it with the bat was fine.
Captain Aaron Finch was very poor in comparison and Stoinis’s knock spared his blushes
‘It would’ve been nice if I could’ve kicked on earlier and made the chase a bit easier but all in all, pretty clinical, I think with the ball as well. [After the Powerplay] They bowled a hard length.
‘It was tough. It’s such a big ground that you feel as though it’s hard to just stand and deliver. Especially with a bit of extra bounce and when the ball is seaming slightly, you feel it’s just not quite as easy to hit the middle of the bat.
‘That’s no excuse for the way I played but it’s nice to get two points.’
On Stoinis, Finch said: ‘It was a pretty special innings. To come out with that intent is the main thing. When you walk out to bat and you have that presence at the crease, that’s half the battle in T20 cricket.
‘When you have the skill and the strength that he’s got, that’s a pretty good combo.’
Now Australia’s focus turns to their clash with England at the MCG on Friday, in a match which could define both sides’ fate in the competition.