Finch rips into England bowlers

AFP| Last Updated: Nov 15, 2013, 14:12 PM IST

Melbourne: Opener Aaron Finch reprised his swashbuckling one-day form to crash a breezy unbeaten half-century in a lively start to the Cricket Australia Invitational XI`s second innings against England on Friday.

Finch cut loose smashing 52 runs off 46 balls including 10 boundaries as he got the home team off to a flier reaching tea at 68 without loss on the third day of the tour match in Sydney.

Finch and fellow opener Ed Cowan (15) reduced the tourists` innings lead to 46 runs and took their toll on England`s pacemen, particularly Steven Finn and Boyd Rankin.

Finn went for 30 runs off his five overs and Rankin leaked 15 off three as Finch set a cracking pace to have his team rollicking along at 4.5 runs per over.

England were earlier dismissed for 418, adding 116 runs with the loss of five wickets after resuming on the penultimate day at 302 for five.

Joe Root scored 75 off 106 balls with nine fours before he was bowled attempting a pull shot off Nicholas Bills.

Jonathan Trott top-scored with 83, skipper Alastair Cook hit 81 and Kevin Pietersen 57 as most of England`s top order got starts with less than a week to the November 21 opening Ashes Test against Australia in Brisbane.

Wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow chipped in with 48 off 96 balls and was out caught behind attempting to cut paceman Chris Tremain.

Bairstow could yet figure in the opening Test if regular keeper Matt Prior falls to recover in time from a calf strain picked up in last week`s tour match against Australia A in Hobart.

Leg-spinner James Muirhead finished the best of the Invitational XI`s bowlers with four wickets for 115 off 22.5 overs, while Bills claimed three for 76.