It was a contest between two unequal sides and this fact was established right from the start of the T20 match between Australia and Zimbabwe on July 3, 2018. Winning the toss in Harare, Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza invited the visitors to bat first. Taking the lead of Australian batting, captain Aaron Finch walked out with his opening partner D’Arcy Short and the two took their team off to a flying start.
Finch was lethal in his attack and the weak Zimbabwe bowling lineup had no answer for him. Making the most of the powerplay over, Finch slammed his 50 in just 22 balls. Before the end of the 10th over there were already more than 100 runs on board and the match looked completely in grip of the Australian team.
Meanwhile, Finch also reached his 100 in just 50 balls, but he looked hungry for more. He went on to break his own record of highest individual score in T20 international and surpassed his 156-run score against England.
Zimbabwe bowlers were still looking to get their first breakthrough, but nothing seemed to work for them. By the time the first wicket fell in 20th over it was already too late and the Aussie opening pair had already set a record for the highest opening wicket partnership in the T20s.
The partnership of 223 runs between Finch and Short surpassed the then-record 171 run between New Zealand’s Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill. Before getting hit wicket on the fourth delivery of the last over, Finch scored 172 runs off just 76 deliveries while hitting 10 sixes and 16 boundaries. The Australian team finished at 229/2 in their allotted 20 overs.
In reply, Zimbabwe also had a good start and it scored 42 runs in just 3.2 overs before Jhye Richardson gave Australia their first breakthrough. The pressure of chasing 230 caused a complete collapse in Zimbabwe’s batting line-up and wickets continued to fall at regular intervals and it only scored 129 runs at the loss of 9 wickets at the end of the allotted 20 overs.