Yorkshire’s Aaron Finch stole the show from the great and good of cricket’s recent past as his unbeaten 181 carried MCC to a seven-wicket victory over the Rest of the World in the Lord’s bicentenary celebration.
Australia batsman Finch, currently Yorkshire’s overseas professional star, clubbed 23 fours and six huge sixes in 145 balls to outshine the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Rahul Dravid and Adam Gilchrist.
MCC cruised past RoW’s 293 for seven with 25 deliveries remaining when Finch thrashed fellow centurion Yuvraj Singh for six. It was a less enjoyable day for Finch’s compatriot and RoW captain Shane Warne, who had his right hand broken by former Australia team-mate Brett Lee.
Warne was unable to bowl after his first ball at the crease saw him take a wild Lee beamer on the glove. He was taken to hospital, put in a cast and returned to watch the rest of the match.
Yuvraj was the star of the show in the RoW innings, making 132 in 134 balls. The Indian batsman produced the significant knock that eluded Gilchrist (29), Virender Sehwag (22) and Kevin Pietersen (10) but had steady support from Paul Collingwood (40) and Peter Siddle (33no).
Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal took four for 45 in a fine display of off-spin bowling that included him deceiving Pietersen to have him stumped by Chris Read.
Finch and Tendulkar put on 107 for MCC’s first wicket before the little master was bowled by Muttiah Muralitharan - Test cricket’s highest run-scorer dismissed by Test cricket’s highest wicket-taker.
Collingwood later removed Lara (23) and Dravid (nought) with successive balls, but Finch did not relent as he wowed the fans with his clean-hitting.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul chipped in with 37no but the winning six rightly fell to the burly opener.
After the game, Warne told Sky Sports 2: “I haven’t seen Binger (Lee) for a while so it was nice of him to say hello, break my hand and put me out for six weeks!
“We were good mates but I’m not so sure after this. He didn’t mean it, it’s just one of those things.
“I would have liked to be a bit more part of it rather than sitting getting an X-Ray and plaster on my hand, but it was a great occasion.”