BRISBANE: A half-century from captain Aaron Finch followed by fiery bowling from bowlers helped Australia bundled out Ireland for 137 and clinch the 42-run victory in their Group 1, Super 12 match of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup in Brisbane on Monday.
Lorcan Tucker scored the highest for Ireland with an unbeaten 71 off 48 balls. For Australia Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc and Adam Zampa bagged two wickets each.
Defending a competitive target of 180, Australia got off to a flying start as the bowlers dismissed both Ireland openers, Paul Stirling and captain Andy Balbirnie cheaply.
Balbirnie went back to the pavilion as Pat Cummins delivered a stunning bowl to bowl out Ireland's opener while Glenn Maxwell removed star batter Stirling in the third over of the game.
In the same third over Maxwell struck again as he dismissed new batter Harry Tector for 6 off 4. In the 4th over of the game, Mitchell Starc gave a double blow to Ireland as he sent Curtis Campher and George Dockrell packing, leaving Ireland tottering at 25/5. The top order of the Ireland batting order was destroyed within the powerplay.
Lorcan Tucker and Gareth Delany hammered Starc for 14 runs in the 6th over of the innings to ease some pressure from their team. The Irish duo kept piling runs while gathering singles at regular intervals.
However, Delany could not stand long on the ground as he was dismissed by Marcus Stoinis after scoring 14 runs off 10 deliveries. Tucker opened his hands and slammed Starc for 12 runs in the 12th over of the innings.
Adam Zampa then gave Ireland another blow as he removed Mark Adair for 11 off 11 in the 13th over of the innings. After this Ireland kept losing wickets at regular intervals. The right-handed batter Barry McCarthy then came to bat on the crease.
Tucker brought up his half-century with a 98m six on the delivery of Josh Hazlewood in the 16th over of the innings. Tucker continued his aggressive form as he slammed Australian bowlers all around the ground.
Starc delivered a massive over as he conceded 18 runs with Tucker hammering him for three stunning fours. Cummins then delivered a slower short-of-length delivery to remove batter McCarthy for three off 7.
The last batter Joshua Little then came out to bat but could not do much as he was run out by Mitchell Marsh/Maxwell and handed a big 42-run win to Australia.
Earlier, A calculated half-century from captain Aaron Finch and his quickfire partnership with all-rounder Marcus Stoinis powered Australia to a competitive 179/5 in their 20 overs.
Finch (63) and Stoinis (35) had a 70-run stand for the fourth wicket after the Aussies were left at 84/3 in the second half of the innings. Barry McCarthy (3/29) was the star of the bowlers for the Irish.
Put to bat first by Ireland, Australia was off to a tricky start as they lost the opener, David Warner, for 3 off 7 to Barry McCarthy after the batter pulled it straight to Mark Adair at backward square leg. Australia was 8/1 in 2.1 overs.
Following this early hiccup, captain Aaron Finch was joined by Mitchell Marsh. Marsh took on confident Irish bowlers head-on, starting with a four in the leg side region on his first ball.
Finch also started to switch gears in the fifth over, smashing a four and six. This over by Adair gave away 14 runs. At the end of the powerplay in six overs, Australia was at 38/1, with Finch (23*) and Marsh (11*).
Fionna Hand was smashed for two sixes by Marsh in the seventh over. The 50-run stand between the duo was formed in just 36 balls and the Aussies were slowly taking control of the match.
The 52-run stand between the duo was over when Marsh nicked the ball straight into keeper Lorcan Tucker's hands in the eighth over. Marsh was back in the hut for 28 off 22 balls and McCarthy got his second wicket of the match.
Glenn Maxwell joined Finch on the crease. He survived some leg-before-wicket attempts and smacked a huge straight six to end the first half of the innings. At the end of 10 overs, Australia was at 78/2, with Maxwell (13*) and Finch (29*).
After being bludgeoned by Finch for a four through the covers, pacer Joshua Little bounced back to produce a breakthrough to dismiss Maxwell for 13 off 9 balls, after he was caught by Tucker.
Marcus Stoinis was next up on the crease and it was time for him and Finch to go hard in the second half to put up a big total on the board. The 14th and 15th overs, in particular, brought a lot of runs for Australia. The defending champions crossed the 100-run mark in 13.4 overs. The 14th over brought 16 runs.
In the 15th over, Adair was thrashed for 26 runs, including three fours and a six. Adair also bowled five wide balls. Finch reached his half-century in 38 balls. At the end of 15 overs, Australia was at 134/3, with Finch (50*) and Stoinis (27*).
The explosive 70-run stand between Stoinis and Finch was broken by McCarthy, with assistance from Adair who had been thrashed earlier. Finch was back in the hut for 63 off 44 balls. McCarthy got his third wicket of the match. Australia was at 154/4 in 16.5 overs.
Tim David was next up on crease. Stoinis was the fifth man down as he was dismissed by Little for 35 off 25 balls. Half of the Australian batting was back in the hut by 160 runs.
Matthew Wade was next up on the crease. In the 18th and 19th over, Ireland gave away only seven runs and brought themselves back in the game a bit.
Australia ended their innings at 179/5, with Wade (7*) and David (15*) unbeaten. McCarthy (3/29) was the leading bowler for Ireland. Little also took 2/21.
Brief Scores: Australia: 179/5 in 20 overs (Aaron Finch 63, Marcus Stoinis 35, Barry McCarthy 3/29) vs Ireland 137 (Lorcan Tucker 71*, Gareth Delany 14; Glenn Maxwell 2-14).