Scotland v Australia, Only ODI, Edinburgh September 3, 2013

Finch, Marsh set up thumping Australia victory

The Report by Jonathan Coates

Australia 362 for 3 (Marsh 151, Finch 148) beat Scotland 162 (Machan 39, Johnson 4-36) by 200 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh shared an opening stand of 246 - the second-highest Australia partnership for any wicket in ODIs - in a clinical dissection of Scotland, who were beaten by 200 runs.

The pair erased Geoff Marsh and David Boon's Australia record of 212 for an opening partnership, made against India and a record that had stood proudly since 1986. That wasn't the only record to fall. Australia's 362 for 3 surpassed the 345 they scored against the same team, made here four years ago, and the 334 for 6 they made against Scotland at the 2007 World Cup.

In the field, the hosts were athletic and efficient, but their bowling was blunt. They didn't concede any boundaries for six overs, after choosing to field first. The score was 12 for no loss at that stage but Scotland simply couldn't stem the flow of runs that followed.

Finch didn't quite reprise the brutality of his world-record Twenty20 score in Southampton, but played impressively, waiting for the right ball and picking his spot. He may have set Twenty20 records last week but he only had 107 runs from seven ODI innings before the trip to Edinburgh. On 24, he advanced to Majid Haq's second ball of the day and was beaten. To the bowler's dismay, the ball also deceived Northamptonshire wicketkeeper David Murphy.

At the other end, Marsh did not look comfortable for a long time and struggled to adjust to the lack of pace in the pitch; but the batsman grew in confidence after punching offspinner Haq for two fours in consecutive overs.

Few will remember those early difficulties when scrutinising the scoreboard in years to come. It took Marsh 87 balls to get to 50, but 61 deliveries later he had 150. He struck 16 fours, the same as Finch, and five sixes to Finch's seven in a display of breathtaking acceleration.

Gordon Drummond, who combined with Iain Wardlaw to make life difficult for the Australia batsman at the start, was the only bowler other than Haq to manage finish with respectable figures as Scotland tried in vain to build confidence for their final World Cricket League Championship matches in Belfast later this week.

Australia's strategy was simple: build the run rate from five an over to six and seven, keep wickets in hand and then go ballistic. When the Powerplay was called after after 33 overs, Wardlaw came back on with Finch 108 and Marsh 62 and the score at 181 for no loss.

It was civilised carnage from then on, at least until the 48th over when Wardlaw had Marsh and Shane Watson caught off successive deliveries by Gordon Goudie in the deep. In those 15 overs, Australia added 166 runs. The first wicket went to Haq, as Finch mishit a big shot, but the batsman's departure did nothing to slow the scoring.

The two young Scotland openers, Freddie Coleman and Hamish Gardiner, came out to bat under a warm sun and dropped anchor in a steep chase, and soon Mitchell Johnson and Clint McKay had a wicket apiece.

Matt Machan, who has impressed this season for Sussex, constructed an attractive 39 before holing out and Preston Mommsen, Scotland's captain in the absence of Kyle Coetzer, was run out attempting a single.

Faulkner deceived Berrington with a ball out of the back of his hand and Fawad Ahmed claimed his first ODI wicket as Scotland laboured to 162 all out in 44 overs. Johnson picked up the early wicket of Coleman and then came back to dismiss three tail-end batsmen in successive overs.

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