Finch and Marsh fire down Scotland
Scotland welcomed a full strength Australian side to the Grange in Edinburgh with a point to prove after their recent tour of England with places in the starting eleven of the One Day series up for grabs.
It was a warm day as the recent winds died down after Scotland captain Preston Mommsen won the toss and elected to field first.
Finch and Marsh opened up for Australia and both took their time to get the pace of the wicket, as Scotland opted for Iain Wardlaw and Gordon Drummond to take the new ball.
Wardlaw beat the bat early on but Scotland, despite some tight bowling, couldn’t get the early breakthrough. It was the eighth over by the time Australia decided to up the scoring, hitting three boundaries, two through square-leg followed by an authoritative straight drive by Finch.
Scotland’s fielding was good, but once the opening pair got their eye in they set about the Scottish bowling in destructive fashion. Finch, who sparkled against England in a recent T20 fixture, was particularly aggressive reaching his half-century in only 50 balls, which included nine fours.
He smashed the first maximum of the day over mid-wicket and into the hospitality section of the ground.
Majid Haq was introduced into the bowling attack, and his first over of the day almost claimed Scotland’s first wicket; Finch charged down the wicket as the ball beat batsman and keeper behind the stumps.
That was about as close as Scotland came to a wicket for a while. Three fours then came from the 16th over as the openers started to turn up the heat on the home side.
Finch was the original aggressor, but once Marsh got his eye in he looked equally dangerous. Sixes and fours continued to flow as the Scottish bowling attack toiled in their attempt to break the 200 opening stand – the highest set by an Australian One Day team.
Finch reached a sparkling century with a drive through the covers before moving through the gears as he took 18 runs from the 35th over. The glittering innings came to an end when he was caught on the boundary by Coleman for 148, a knock which included sixteen fours and seven sixes.
Marsh took over where Finch had left off, and he too reached three figures with a powerful cut through point. He and Watson ran Scotland ragged in the field taking 53 runs from four overs.
Marsh took a mere 20 deliveries after completing his century to reach 150 before he was caught on the long-off boundary by Goudie from the bowling of Wardlaw. The following delivery was a carbon copy of the one before as Watson gave Goudie another opportunity that he duly took.
Bailey and Clarke batted out the remaining overs to ensure that Scotland would be set a mammoth target of 363.
Freddie Coleman and Hamish Gardiner opened the Scottish innings, and both were trapped LBW by Johnson and McKay as Scotland found themselves in trouble at 2/2 in the fifth over of the Scotland innings.
Mommsen made eight before he looked for a single, only realising there was not a run after it was too late as Shane Watson and Michael Clarke combined to see the Scotland captain depart.
Matt Machan and Calum MacLeod put on 41 runs and the pair looked comfortable against the star-studded Australian attack with some positive stroke-play while taking a diligent approach.
Machan was visibly annoyed with himself when, after looking well-set for a half-century, looked to hit James Faulkner out of the attack but only found the hands of McKay at long-on after scoring 39.
Faulkner was soon to have his second wicket when he deceived Berrington with a slower delivery and caused the batsman to spoon a catch to Watson at cover with Scotland on 79/5 in the 23rd over.
MacLeod became Fawad Ahmed’s first ODI wicket after he had worked his way to 24, edging a delivery to Michael Clarke at slip.
Haq ground out 25 but his resistance proved futile when Johnson delivered a fierce bouncer, cramping the batsman for space, only to see the ball loop to McKay at mid-on.
Gordon Goudie (23) gave the crowd something to cheer as he blasted the ball to the boundary, a huge straight six over the back wall by the scoreboard at the bottom of the ground.
Drummond was the final Scottish wicket to fall, clean bowled by Johnson, to conclude the innings in the 44th over for 162 – giving Australia the win by 200 runs.
Stand in Scotland captain Preston Mommsen said at the end of the match, “We were good in parts and unfortunately we missed an opportunity after 10 overs and unfortunately they didn’t look back from there.
Majid has bowled really well and bowled to his strengths, guys made starts and looked good like Calum and Mach got a start and were both looking good.
Their openers gave us very few chances, played their shots and took their time getting themselves in and would have been seeing the ball well on what ended up playing out a pretty good wicket.”