Leading Australia in the only T20 International against England at Birmingham on Wednesday, Aaron Finch led from the front with a blazing 84 runs off just 41 balls and emerged as his side’s standout performer.

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While chasing a mammoth total of 221, Finch was the only Australian batsman to score a half-century and kept Australia in the game until his dismissal in the 16th over.

Australia had half of their side back in the hut by the ninth over with just 72 runs on the board, with the Aussie skipper having faced just 19 deliveries till then. With Ashton Agar at the other end, Finch then launched his assault as the sixth-wicket partnership accounted for 86 runs in just 40 deliveries.

When it was all but over, the Victorian had launched a strategic attack on English off-spinner Moeen Ali, who was hit for five sixes and three fours.

The Kings XI Punjab batting maestro was eventually held out by Chris Jordan while trying to hit leggie Adil Rashid. Finch finished with seven 4s and six maximums in his swashbuckling knock at a strike rate of 204.87.

His departure meant that Australia fell short by 28 runs despite Andrew Tye’s cameo of 20 runs in 11 balls and Agar’s gritty knock of 29.

Finch’s next assignment will the T20I tri-series involving Pakistan and hosts Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club on July 1.