Big-hitter Finch proves he can play the four-day game

Warwickshire v Yorkshire: Day Two (LV= County Championship)

AARON FINCH demonstrated his versatility with a maiden century for Yorkshire as they pressed ahead against Warwickshire at Edgbaston yesterday.

The powerful Australian hit 110 off 146 balls, only his third first-class century, as the White Rose reached close on day two on 422 all out in reply to 228, a lead of 194.

Finch is ranked as the world’s number one Twenty20 batsman, but has struggled to transfer that form to first-class cricket during a 43-match career for Victoria, Australia A and now Yorkshire.

This was his first fourday century since July 2011 when Australia A toured Zimbabwe.

He shared a fifth-wicket stand of 92 in 22 overs with Jonny Bairstow either side of lunch and 123 in 30 for the sixth either side of tea with Rich Pyrah.

While Finch will take all the headlines, Bairstow’s 68 and Pyrah’s 62 were crucial in advancing from 150-4 before lunch.

Although it was a reasonably healthy score, a couple of quick wickets could have seen the day pan out differently. Steve Patterson added a useful 32 from number eight after tea.

“It was nice to contribute to a couple of big partnerships,”

said Finch. “It was pretty pleasing to get my first hundred for Yorkshire.

“It’s a great place to be a part of, and I’m very grateful that they’ve given me the opportunity to play some cricket. I’m happy that I’ve got some runs.

Hopefully we can bowl really well and win a match.

“Four-day cricket’s been a part of my game that’s been lacking in the past, and one that I’ve under performed in. To get the opportunity here on the back of a couple of poor seasons for Victoria, I’m very grateful.”

Although Finch demonstrated the power associated with limited overs cricket with nine fours and three sixes – he went from 86 to 100 in the space of four balls against Keith Barker in the 85th over – he was also happy to accumulate the ones and twos.

Warwickshire are now battling to avoid a second innings defeat to the Tykes this season.

If Yorkshire complete the win during the next couple of days, it would be a second in four matches for Finch, who makes his last scheduled Championship appearance against Durham on July 7 with Kane Williamson due back.

He is then due to travel back to Australia for a national training camp at the end of the month, although he last night hinted that Cricket Australia could be persuaded to let him stay longer and play limited overs cricket.

SCORECARD

Warwickshire v Yorkshire
Overnight: Warwickshire 228 (J S Patel 63
no). Yorkshire 82-2.

Yorkshire First Innings
A Z Lees c Ambrose b Woakes ................64
A W Gale c Ambrose b Wright.................49
J M Bairstow b Rankin.................................68
A J Finch c Ambrose b Rankin ................110
R M Pyrah lbw b Clarke ..............................62
S A Patterson c Porterfield b Patel ..........32
R Sidebottom c Ambrose b Wright............ 8
J A Brooks c Chopra b Barker .................... 3
K Carver not out ............................................. 2
Extras (b1 lb10 nb2 pens 0) . 13
Total (117.3 overs)................. 422
Fall: 1-31 2-37 3-112 4-150 5-242 6-365
7-387 8-417 9-419
Bowling: Barker 15.3-2-68-1. Woakes 24-4-
81-3. Clarke 20-1-61-1. Wright 23-2-94-2.
Rankin 21-2-79-2. Patel 14-6-28-1.

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