AUS vs NZ, 3rd ODI: Aaron Finch rode into the sunset on a brilliant note from ODI cricket as the Australian team thumped the New Zealand side in the 3rd and final ODI by 25 runs. The Finch-led team produced a dominant show against the Kane Williamson-led side and has retained the Chappell-Hadlee trophy with a clean sweep. The Australian team was better in all the departments as compared to its opponents and achieved some memorable wins.
In the final ODI, Australia was invited to bat first on a tricky surface of Cazaly's Stadium at Cairns. They were inflicted with some blows as they lost both the openers inside six overs, forcing them to rebuild just after the match got started. Marnus Labuschagne and Steven Smith stabilised Australia's ship. Right-handed batter Smith notched up his 12th ODI century which gave the home team a good base to finish well before Alex Carey and Cameron Green helped their team to finish 267/5 in 50 overs. For New Zealand, Trent Boult was the pick of the bowlers as he scalped two wickets and gave away just 25 runs in 10 overs.
While chasing, New Zealand got off to a great start, courtesy of their openers Finn Allen and Devon Conway. But as soon as the latter departed when the team was on 49 runs in 8.3 overs, wickets started tumbling quicker. The top order batters got starts but could not carry on, resultingly in too much pressure on the middle and lower order batters. Neesham, Santner and Phillips sent some blows to the Aussies but it was too much and the Blackcaps could not open their mark in the series.
For Australia, it was a complete team performance from their bowlers as everyone contributed. However, Mitchell Starc, Cameron Green and Sean Abbott inflicted most blows on the visitors. Starc scalped three, while Green and Abbott shared two wickets a piece.
Notably, this was Aaron Finch's last ODI for Australia. He thanked everyone who has been with him on this journey. "My family has sacrificed so much for me to achieve all that I have, always grateful for that. There are just so many people to thank, everyone who's been there for me since club cricket.
"I'm super thankful for my wife and kids to stick with me through all my ups and downs. Will always be grateful to them," Finch said after the match.
However, the Victoria-born Finch will lead his side in the T20Is and is gearing up to face India in a three-match T20I series.