Finn exorcises demons as England romp to morale-boosting victory

Frank Dalleres
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Steven Finn’s 5-33 represented the best one-day bowling figures of his England career
ENGLAND bowler Steven Finn believes he has healed the wounds of last winter’s traumatic Ashes tour after career-best one-day figures of 5-33 helped to inflict a nine-wicket thrashing on India yesterday.

Recuperated James Anderson also shone with 4-18 in his first outing for the team since September before Ian Bell’s 88 not out and an unbeaten 56 from James Taylor swept England to victory with 22 overs to spare.

Captain Eoin Morgan’s first win since replacing Alastair Cook in the role revived England’s hopes in the tri-series, having lost their opening match to hosts and leaders Australia last week.

But the outcome in Brisbane was particularly redemptive for Finn, who was deemed “not selectable” and sent home 12 months ago before the 50-over fixtures that followed a painful Ashes whitewash.

“A lot has happened in the last 12 months and it’s pretty much a year to the day that I went home from that tour of Australia,” he said.

“But that corner has been turned and I feel like I turned it a little while ago. All that stuff is in the past now. To take five wickets was very pleasing after the work I’ve put in, but I don’t want to look back now, just forward.”

England can now approach Friday’s rematch with Australia in Hobart with hope of exacting revenge and, beyond that, go into next month’s World Cup with greater confidence.

Before yesterday they had lost six of their last eight one-day internationals – a run that helped persuade selectors to dispense with Cook in favour of Morgan last month.

“To come here and be in the same hotels and get over those hurdles has been fun,” Finn added. “I’m enjoying my time in Australia and to take wickets is obviously very good. There are a few bad memories knocking around in the places we’re travelling to but this will help relax me. I’m happy with where I’m at now.”

All-rounder Moeen Ali claimed the other scalp and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler took five catches – just one shy of his jointly-held England record – as India were dismissed for 153 in 39.3 overs. Bell and Taylor then swiftly set about chasing their target, with Moeen the only wicket, as England raced to 156 in 27.3 overs.

“It was outstanding. We really put in a team performance,” said Morgan, who priased Middlesex team-mate Finn. "He found some rhythm early, and managed to take advantage of that steep bounce he gets. He’s come a long way over the last two years.”