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Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight - David Warner vs Aaron Finch

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Friday Fights: December edition

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Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight - David Warner vs Aaron Finch

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Anirudh Suresh

12/04/2020

Statistically two greatest openers in Australia’s ODI history and two undoubted, colossal modern-day greats, David Warner and Aaron Finch will lock horns with each other in our December 4 edition of the Friday Fights. We know they thrive together, but what if they’re pit against each other?

One is an absolute unit from Victoria, the other a pocket dynamite from New South Wales. One bats right-handed, the other left. One likes to take his time, size up the bowlers and unleash, the other to go berserk and unsettle opponents from ball one. But there’s one commonality between the two: they both are darn good world-class openers who are undoubted 21st century greats. The sight of seeing Warner and Finch bat together is one to behold for spectators, but what will unfold if they are pit against each other - in a battle for supremacy? Well, let’s find out. LET THE FIGHT BEGIN! 

ROUND 1 -> CAREER AVERAGE: And Warner starts with a boundary

David Warner might not be a lot of things but bloody hell he's a quick starter. Finch might get away with a planted front foot on flat Aussie wickets, but boy there’s no hiding or escaping inside the squared circle. With an average of 41.85, Finch starts off slow, as usual, but Warner, with his numbers of 45.45, bludgeons him off the back-foot to get off the mark in trademark fashion.

Warner 10-9 Finch

ROUND 2 -> AVERAGE IN FOREIGN CONDITIONS: Inseparable

Warner leeches off the momentum generated in R1 and starts R2 on the front-foot, but, unlike the first round, Finch refuses to give in. He goes BANG BANG and lands two punches off his own. He lines up a third to seal the round, but the bell goes off just in time to save the southpaw, and the round ends in a tie. Phew, things are heating up! 

Warner 10-10 Finch

ROUND 3 -> AVERAGE IN HOME CONDITIONS: Ominous signs for the Aussie skipper

Batsmen generally take offence to terms like “Home track bully” but Warner is a cricketer who well and truly embraces it. Finch has seen his partner murder many an opponent on lifeless Australian wickets but unfortunately, today, it’s his own turn to get slaughtered. 39.26 is all the Aussie skipper can come up with, and Warner, appalled by the weak number, gives a smirk and delivers a thunderous left hook to leave Finch bloodied - already. His 46.71 hands him back the advantage.

Warner 10-8 Finch

ROUND 4 -> AVERAGE IN NEUTRAL VENUES: Finch simply cannot outpower Warner at the moment

Remember the phase in early 2019 when Finch couldn’t buy a run despite trying EVERYTHING? You know, when he couldn’t even get the ball beyond the 30-yard circle despite trying to smash the leather out of it? Well, he’s somewhere near that territory right now. He gets his feet sorted, gets his timing right and delivers (or he thinks) a brutal jab worth an average of 53.36, but it turns out to be NOT good enough. Warner ducks, sways and delivers a right cross to walk away with the round, thanks to his numbers of 55.72. Finch is STEAMING right now! 

Warner 10-9 Finch

ROUND 5 -> AVERAGE IN MAJOR TOURNAMENTS: Another round, another Warner victory!

I think we might truly be witnessing the difference between world class and WORLD CLASS. Using his frustration as motivation, Finch, with an average of 42, catches Warner SMACK on the face with a picture perfect jab, but Warner stands UNFLINCHED. He once again brings out that oh-so-devilish smirk and unleashes a Left Jab - inside jab combo to take home YET ANOTHER round. I mean, seriously, who holds an average of 54 in ICC tournaments? Ridiculous.. 

Warner 10-9 Finch

ROUND 6 -> STRIKE RATE: Wait, is Warner on a mission to embarrass his partner?

Finch is a slow starter who generally catches up late, but that uncertainty over catching up makes his strike rate a double-edged sword. Today, unfortunately, he’s on the wrong end of it. The right-hander’s SR of 88.42, which on paper is SUPER QUICK, is made to look like a punctured bicycle by Warner, who low-key embarasses his partner with his SR of 95.53. Hence proved, quick-starters > slow starters? 

Warner 10-9 Finch

ROUND 7-> 50 TO 100 CONVERSIONS (in %): Can somebody ring the bell?

I mean, yes, this bout has been close, and in no way is Finch looking like he’s going to get knocked out, but ZERO wins in seven rounds? Get out of here. What have you done to your beloved partner, Davey? Going through the motions, Finch delivers a gentle right hand in the form of his conversion rate of 36.95% and, this time keen to not embarrass his mate, Warner does ‘just enough’. He blocks the punch and delivers a left cross of his own (read: conversion rate of 43.9) to continue his 100% record in this bout. 

Warner 10-8 Finch

ROUND 8 -> PERCENTAGE OF FIFTIES IN WINNING CAUSES: AGONY FOR FINCH

NO, NO, NO! AN EIGHTH CONSECUTIVE ROUND WITHOUT A VICTORY! Mentally refreshed - not sure what he did between rounds - Finch sports a smile and delivers an absolutely BRUTAL six-punch combo:  Hook - left hook - right hook - short hook - long hook - body hook. He thinks he’s got it, so does everyone watching, but Warner roars and catches him with a murderous Right cross - straight left combo. Finch is SHOOK as his numbers of 62.06, yet again, turns out to be NOT GOOD ENOUGH in front of Warner’s 69.56. What more does he have to do?

Warner 10-9 Finch

ROUND 9 -> PERCENTAGE OF HUNDREDS IN WINNING CAUSES: Can we end this, please?

Okay, now this is just getting one-sided. I mean it has been one-sided for a while, but it has now become wayyy too predictable. An almost cut-copy-paste of Round 8 ensues, except here Warner delivers the most emphatic uppercut of the contest to FLOOR FINCH. 81.25% of his hundreds have come in winning causes, in comparison to Finch’s 64.7. See how disinterested even I sound? Smh.

Warner 10-8 Finch

Round 10 -> NUMBER OF FIFTY-PLUS SCORES IN SUCCESSFUL CHASES: STOP THE PRESS. STOP THE PRESS!

AARON FINCH HAS OVERPOWERED WARNER. I REPEAT, AARON FINCH HAS OVERPOWERED WARNER!  It has taken him 10 rounds but the Aussie skipper is finally on the board. A tad complacent, Warner throws a half-baked right hook, and sensing his opportunity, Finch pounces. He blocks the hook and delivers a thumping right cross to FINALLY win a round. Clearly Finch enjoys the responsibility of taking his side home, proved by his 11 fifty-plus scores in successful chases, compared to Warner’s 8. 

Warner 9-10 Finch

ROUND 11 -> NO OF FIFTY-PLUS SCORES WITH 110+ STRIKE RATE: Finch’s joy is short-lived

Finch generally thrives on momentum and piggybacks on it in the first opportunity he gets, but that is not to be today.  For the second time in the bout, the double-edged sword that is his strike rate stabs him in the back. Carrying the rhythm he found in R10, the big right-hander gets Warner cornered and goes for a big right-hand, but instead ends up smashing the turnbuckles. Warner pounces on a wounded Finch to deliver a powerful short right, and takes the round thanks to his 10 scores with a 110+ SR.

FINAL ROUND -> AVERAGE IN ICC KNOCKOUT MATCHES: A DULL FINISH BUT WARNER GETS THE W

THERE IT IS! Warner finally gets the win - but in the most underwhelming fashion imaginable. He looks to be in pain in the final round, seemingly due to straining his groin while striking Finch in the previous round, and connects just one of the six punches he throws. Any other opponent on any other day would have taken advantage of his tanking but not Finch, who collapses inexplicably midway through the round. Warner’s average in knockout games of 22.5 is hideous, but it’s STILL BETTER than Finch’s abysmal 20.75. Story of this match, really. 

WINNER BY UNANIMOUS DECISION: DAVID WARNER

FINAL SCORE: David Warner 119-107 Aaron Finch

There we go. Yet another W for David Warner and that takes his Friday Fights record to 2-1. He’s now taken down two of the 21st century’s finest, Aaron Finch and Quinton de Kock. Despite having moments of madness, the match never threatened to come to a crescendo and in a way, it was perhaps fitting that it ended with both players in their haunches, albeit for different reasons. 

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