Lara’s MCC defeats Rest of the World

CricketFilePhotoFLondon, England – A sensational 181* from Aaron Finch saw MCC to a seven-wicket win over Rest of the World – whose captain Shane Warne was unable to bowl after breaking his hand while batting.

Finch made light work of a Raw attack deprived of their star bowler, striking six sixes and 23 fours to take MCC to their target of 293 in the Bicentenary Celebration match – despite a brilliant 132 from RoW’s Yuvraj Singh.

Sachin Tendulkar rolled back the years with a fluent 44 at the top of the order for MCC, putting on 107 with Finch and treating the capacity crowd to some vintage shots – particularly off the back foot through point.

He was dismissed by Muttiah Muralitharan and departed to a standing ovation – which continued when MCC’s number three Brian Lara came in at number three.

Lara made a scratchy 23 before being dismissed by Paul Collingwood, who then shocked the crowd by bowling Rahul Dravid first ball with one which nipped back down the slope.

Shiv Chanderpaul saw off the hat trick ball and was with the by now rampant Finch to the close of the match, feasting on some part time bowling late in the day as stand-in captain Adam Gilchrist tried to make up the overs lost by Warne’s absence.

Warne was earlier struck by a high full toss from his ex-Australia teammate Brett Lee from the first ball of his knock, in the dying overs of RoW’s innings.

He was taken to hospital and returned to Lord’s with his hand in a cast and wrapped in a sling to watch his side struggle and fail to dislodge Australia’s Finch.

Warne’s batsmen had put together a good target by then, recovering from a poor position at 68/5 after Saeed Ajmal had briefly threatened to skittle RoW with a stunning spell of bowling.

The Pakistan off-spinner bamboozled RoW’s top order, dismissing Gilchrist, Tamim Iqbal, Kevin Pietersen and Shahid Afridi in a devastating 15 ball spell which had spectators fearing an early finish.

But Yuvraj and Paul Collingwood rebuilt the innings expertly, with the Englishman playing the anchor role to his more explosive Indian teammate – who hit six sixes in his 134-ball knock, the majority through his trademark slog-sweep.

Warne’s men might have felt they had enough to force a victory, but his injury left them without their captain and more than 1,000 international wickets against a superb MCC batting line-up – which cost them heavily in the end.

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