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Finch continues the rout


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When Aaron Finch reached his first one-day international century on home soil, the hard-hitting opener celebrated with a quick high-five before telling himself to pull his head in.

There was still a job to do to get Australia over the line against England in game one of the five-match series, after all.

But Finch’s batting partner Michael Clarke told him to savour the moment in front of his home fans at the MCG.

Clarke approached Finch for a hug and Finch grabbed him in a rib-crunching embrace.

Finch was dismissed for 121 at 3-237 before Australia powered to victory in the 46th over with a score of 4-270 in reply to England’s 7-269.

“With the hug, it was a very big relief to get the hundred,” said Finch, who also scored an ODI century in Edinburgh against Scotland in 2013.

“In front of my home crowd, it was very special.

“I was pretty keen to get on with the game and continue on, but he (Clarke) made sure I soaked it up and really appreciated the moment.

“He just said enjoy it, soak it up, keep going, let’s keep playing well. Make sure you’re not out at the end.

“So I let the captain down a little bit there.”

Finch says the 2015 World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, is on his mind.

Especially with fellow opener Shaun Marsh also named in Australia’s 14-man squad for the ODI series against England.

“Shaun Marsh has been in very good form,” Finch said.

“So it’s always nice to do well early in a series, keep the pressure on and hopefully keep my spot for a couple more games.

“I don’t think there is a hell of a lot of one day cricket to be played before the World Cup in 2015 so it’s really important to get runs and stay in the side.”

Finch said it was a nice feeling to become the first Victorian to score an ODI hundred at the MCG.

“It’s a phenomenal place to play cricket,” he said.

“The atmosphere, the ground, everything is ideal for cricket and it’s a place I have loved playing over the years for Victoria.”

England, thrashed five-nil in the Ashes and beaten in game one of the one-dayers, must dust themselves off for the second match in Brisbane on Friday.

England captain Alastair Cook took heart from Gary Ballance’s fine knock of 79 and the swing bowling of second-gamer Chris Jordan, who took 1-50 and deserved better.

“It’s tough when you keep losing games of cricket,” Cook said.

“We just need to somehow stop the rot.”

England play the Prime Minister’s XI on Tuesday in Canberra.

Shane Watson will be rested for Australia’s second one-day international against England in Brisbane on Friday, but will link up with the team in Sydney ahead of the third one-day match.

Coach Darren Lehmann says selectors are looking to give Watson a break, in the same way they have done with Mitchell Johnson, who missed the opening one-day in Melbourne.

Meanwhile, James Pattinson and Aaron Finch have been released to play for the Melbourne Renegades on Tuesday.

“Both James and Aaron will play for the Renegades, neither of these players have been involved in the Ashes Series so their lead in to this ODI Series has not been as intense,” Lehmann said.

Pace bowlers Johnson, James Faulkner, Clint McKay, Nathan Coulter-Nile and batsman Shaun Marsh will travel to Brisbane on Tuesday, while the remainder of the squad, including Pattinson and Finch, will arrive the following day.

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