Cricket

Stoinis Scores the FASTEST 50 ever for Australia with 17-ball

Stoinis Scores the FASTEST 50: Marcus Stoinis made history with a magical 17-run half-century to breathe new life into Australia’s World Cup campaign on Tuesday night and Aaron Finch could not hide his relief after victory over Sri Lanka.

The visitors set the reigning world champions a target of 158 in Perth, with Australia desperate for a victory after being embarrassed by New Zealand in their opening game at the SCG on Saturday.

Australia’s chase looked set to go down to the wire, with David Warner and Mitch Marsh getting out early, while Finch’s run rate was more akin to a Test innings than a T20 inning.

But Glenn Maxwell put Australia ahead with an impressive 12-ball 23 before Stoinis came to the crease to finish the job, scoring 59 off 18 balls to get his team over the line.

It was a record-breaking innings by the 33-year-old, who scored the fastest half-century in Australian cricket history across all formats.

Stoins revealed after the game that his game plan was to go after the spinners and he was happy to play such a strong inning on home turf.

“After going to the spinners, I felt relaxed,” he said after the win. ‘Once I got in, the plan was just to keep going.

‘To be honest I was pretty nervous today being at home in Perth with lots of family and friends but really glad we put in a bit of a clinic today.

‘Mentally I was good and fresh after spending some time with that side strain, but so far so good. I liked. We played here against England the other day and it was a beautiful wicket. It seemed to be doing a bit too much, especially against the new ball. It’s a beautiful ground, probably the best in Australia, if not the world.

“We have wrapped up this game and are looking forward to playing against England at the MCG. They are obviously a very good team so we will do our homework again, rest, 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 mounting pressure.

‘Obviously, my innings were exceptional. It was poor. I just couldn’t hit the ball. But I thought the way we approached it with the bat was fine.

It would have been good if I had kicked earlier and made the chase a bit easier but overall, quite clinical, I think with the ball too. [After the power play] they bowled hard.

‘It was difficult. It is such a large ground that you feel like it is difficult to stand and deliver. Especially with a little bit of extra bounce and when the ball is looking light, you feel like it’s not that easy to hit the middle of the bat.

‘It’s no excuse for the way I played but it’s good to get two points.’

Finch said of Stoins: ‘It was a very special inning. Coming out with that intention is the real thing. When you step out to bat and have a presence at the crease, that’s half the battle in T20 cricket.

‘When you have the skill and power that he has, it’s a great combo.’

Australia now turns their attention to their clash with England at the MCG on Friday, in a match that could decide the fate of both sides in the competition.

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