Finch relishing return to ‘beautiful’ Ageas Bowl

Aaron Finch celebrates his century in the t20 international at the Ageas Bowl. Picture: Robin Jones
Aaron Finch celebrates his century in the t20 international at the Ageas Bowl. Picture: Robin Jones
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He stole the show the last time England and Australia met at the Ageas Bowl.

And now hard-hitting Aaron Finch can’t wait for his latest chance to dazzle on the south coast.

Last month the Aussie opener single-handely led his side to victory in the first t20 international between the two sides, smashing an international world-record innings of 156 from only 63 balls.

Finch is now looking forward to another crack on the wicket in today’s deciding one-dayer between the two nations (2pm).

‘It was a perfect cricket wicket, probably for batsman more than bowlers,’ he said of the t20 deck.

‘Any time a batsman turns up there you really do lick your lips, hope you can get through the first couple of balls and then cash in on a big day.

‘It was just one of those days where everything seemed to go my way.

‘The crowd were very supportive. After I got my hundred they were probably on my side for a little.

‘And it was a nice feeling for everyone to stand and applaud as I walked off. It was fantastic.’

England may boast Royals ace Michael Carberry and former Hampshire batsman Kevin Pietersen in their ranks – but Australia have a wealth of Ageas Bowl experience at their disposal.

Captain Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey and Adam Voges have all plied their trade at the ground during their careers.

And Finch, 26, believes their know-how stands the tourists in good stead ahead of the fifth and final 50-over clash, with the series locked at 1-1 after England’s triumph at Cardiff on Saturday.

‘It’s nice to have guys who have experienced it – and who have played quite a bit of one-day, twenty20 and four-day cricket here,’ he said.

‘I think you can take a lot out of all that.

‘Especially guys who have played a full season here – or close to.

‘They have seen the wicket at it’s best or it’s worst, so I think they are a really good judge of the wickets and outfield.

‘To have guys like Watto, Clarkey and Bails who have all played quite a bit here, it is great to have that knowledge up your sleeve.’

The right-handed opening batsman has enjoyed Hampshire’s hospitality so far – and is not surprised the Royals have gone so well in limited overs competitions in recent times.

‘It’s always looked like a beautiful place to play,’ he said.

‘Obviously, Hampshire have had a lot of success in short-form cricket over the last few years – and it’s not hard to see why when you’re playing in conditions that are so beautiful.

‘That generally means the best team comes out on top the majority of the time. It’s just a beautiful place to play.’

And with the Victorian such a fan of the Ageas Bowl, he refused to rule out a stint in county cricket with Giles White’s Hampshire.

‘I’d love to get an opportunity to play county cricket,’ said Finch.

‘I had a bit of a look last year and couldn’t find a spot.

‘So hopefully in the coming years there might be a couple of spots that open up.’