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Finch joins Auckland for T20 semi-final
14:54 AEST Thu Jan 17 2013

Australian batsman Aaron Finch is a late addition to the Auckland team to take on Wellington in Friday's crucial New Zealand Twenty20 semi-final at the Basin Reserve.

Finch arrives fresh from the Big Bash League, where he captained Melbourne Renegades to the semi-finals.

Their 15-run loss to Brisbane Heat has been to Auckland's advantage as it means he is available for Friday's match, and the final against Otago on Sunday if Auckland win.

Finch averages 38 in Twenty20 cricket, with more than 1600 runs in 54 matches.

He's also played a handful of games for Australia in Twenty20 and one-day formats and comes off a Big Bash season in which he posted his first T20 century and racked up 332 runs at an average of 66.4.

Auckland coach Paul Strang says Finch is a class player.

"He's obviously been in really good form for the Renegades, so he'll be a great addition to the team."

Finch is Auckland's second overseas professional, alongside Andre Adams, with Englishman Phil Mustard released to take up a contract in the Bangladesh Premier League.

The Auckland squad has one change from that which downed Central Districts to make the semi-final, batsman Dusan Hakaraia joining the 13 to replace Anaru Kitchen, who suffered a side strain during that game and is still injured.

Starc to play through pain barrier
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