Australia vs Ireland
End of innings
Well, there were a couple of hiccups along the way but Australia have ultimately negotiated a potentially tricky encounter with ease. In truth, the Australians had just about everything their own way from the very first delivery, when Shane Watson removed Ireland captain Will Porterfield. Though the O'Brien brothers put together a 52-run stand to keep the innings afloat, 120-odd was never going to unduly bother the Aussies. Watson capped a great all-round day with a boundary-laden 51, earning the Man of the Match award, and Australia cantered home with just under five overs to spare. Both teams now face the West Indies - Australia on Saturday, and Ireland on Monday. I do hope you've enjoyed our commentary, and don't forget that you can also follow India's match against Afghanistan right here.
Over 16 - Aus 125/3 (White 22, Bailey 6)
There's the game! White brings proceedings to a close to a lofted chip to the wide long-on boundary off Dockrell.
Over 15 - Aus 121/3 (White 18, Bailey 6)
White takes Australia to the brink with a brace of boundaries, both of which come courtesy of powerful pulls into the leg side. With three needed, Bailey attempts to end the match with a big hit, but misses a very slow offcutter completely, the ball shaving past the off stump.
Over 14 - Aus 110/3 (White 7, Bailey 6)
Last throw of the dice, one feels, as Porterfield perseveres with Rankin. He can't force the breakthrough, and with no scoreboard pressure both Bailey and White appear at ease. Indeed, Bailey ends the over with a cracking pull that takes the required runs down to 14 from 36 balls.
'Just want to know what happened to Trent Copeland, it was said that he is the next best thing after Glen McGrath?' asks Nellis Josephs. Copeland had the height of McGrath, and swung the ball too, but he pinged them down at barely 120kph at the best of times. He last played a Test in this very city, Colombo, but at the SSC, in September last year. He never had the pace for international cricket, and after Tim Nielsen's departure from the coaching position, he hasn't got close to the team. He's been taken over by Starc, Cummins et al now.
Over 13 - Aus 103/3 (White 7, Bailey 1)
Kevin O'Brien bustles through another over of medium pace, and keeps the big-hitting White quiet with changes of pace and length. Just the three runs from the over. You can, by the way, find my cricket-related waffle on Twitter. Gomorezvidinha is my handle.
Over 12 - Aus 100/3 (White 4, Bailey 1)
Big Boyd Rankin comes back into the attack after the wickets, and almost forces another breakthrough! Rankin hurried White with pace and bounce, and a front-foot pull looped to the right of Johnston at mid-on ... The fielder defies his 38 years to leap into the air and get a paw to it, but he can't hold on! It would have been an amazing catch.
Over 11 - Aus 95/3 (White 1, Bailey 0)
WICKETS! Watson dabs to short third man and is called through by Hussey. Watto's puffed after his efforts with bat and ball and dawdles through the run ... Johnston picks the right end to throw at and pings the non-striker's stumps with the batsman just short. The wicket, which has come in Kevin O'Brien's first over of medium pace, brings Cameron 'Bear' White to the crease. He's a big 'un. But wait, what's this? O'Brien strikes Hussey on the front pad with his final delivery, and the Umpire sends Mr. Cricket on his way! Ireland don't really have a chance here, but they're putting up a really good fight.
Over 10 - Aus 91/1 (Watson 51, Hussey 7)
Shane Watson is doing his best to bring this match to a swift denouement. He moves through the 40s with a flat-batted swipe down the ground, and brings up his fifty with a monstrous mow into the second tier of the stands beyond long on. It's taken him just 28 deliveries.
Over 9 - Aus 77/1 (Watson 40, Hussey 4)
Porterfield employs Stirling's offbreaks, and there's a chance created as Watson bunts one in the air back towards the bowler ... but it's dropped! Stirling went at it one-handed, and got something on it but couldn't hold on. Watto then brings the pain down on the Irish in style, thwacking a powerful sweep to deep backward square and then shellacking a pull over the deep midwicket boundary. Thirteen runs from the over.
Over 8 - Aus 64/1 (Watson 29, Hussey 2)
WICKET! Dockrell strikes as an overenthusiastic Warner lifts him out into the leg side ... and into Kevin O'Brien's bucket-like hands. The KOB takes a good catch on the run, and Ireland celebrate the breakthrough. As the Afghanistan cricket team, who play India in the second match of the day, look on from the boundary, Dockrell beats Mike Hussey's outside edge, prompting Porterfield to bring a slip in. An edge isn't forthcoming, but a wicket and just four runs make it a good over for Ireland.
Over 7 - Aus 60/0 (Watson 27, Warner 26)
Warner goes past the 1000-run mark in T20Is with a flick to the square leg boundary. The only other players to have passed that mark are New Zealand's Brendon McCullum, and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named from England. Seven runs from Cusack's second over takes the required run rate under five.
Over 6 - Aus 53/0 (Watson 26, Warner 20)
Warner greets Dockrell's appearance with a cover drive that bristles with controlled aggression. His shot has the beating of a diving extra cover fielder, and after the boundary both batsmen are content to nudge the ball around.
Over 5 - Aus 44/0 (Watson 25, Warner 12)
Cusack's medium-paced dobblers are brought on, and Wilson - who's keeping wicket today - comes up to the stumps. That brings him and Warner into close proximity, and they immediately get to squabbling like a couple of junkyard dogs. Growls and bristling hackles. Watto joins in, but the flare-up is brief. Amid the handbags, Cusack sneaks in a quiet little over. He'll be glad Wilson's taken the heat off him after what happened to Johnston in the last over. Just four runs from the over, but Australia are still motoring along at well over eight an over.
Over 4 - Aus 40/0 (Watson 24, Warner 11)
Ireland are leaking boundaries all over the place now, and a whopping 19 runs come from the over. Johnston was very tight in his first over, but tries to do a little too much in his second and is punished. Warner latches onto a full, wide delivery to start the rot. Johnston then asks a question of Watto with a bouncer, and receives a swift answer as he clatters a pull down to long leg. Another full ball is dismissed imperiously over the off side, and the carnage is complete as Watson picks the last ball up and over square leg for the first six of the innings.
Over 3 - Aus 21/0 (Watson 10, Warner 6)
A swirling leading edge just evades mid-on! Watson was far too early into the shot against Rankin, the ball stopping on him, but he got enough on it to beat the fielder. Ireland are buzzing in the field, an early wicket will really lift them. Rankin rattles Watto's splice with a brutal lifter, but his good deliveries are interspersed with no less than three wides, and 12 runs come from the over.
Over 2 - Aus 9/0 (Warner 5, Watson 3)
Watto dished out the verbals when he was bowling, and now both he and Warner are getting it back in spades. The umpires have had a word with Ireland captain Porterfield. Johnston opens from the opposite end, with one wide slip in place, and the veteran keeps things tight with a strict line and length in his first over. Just three runs from it.
Over 1 - Aus 6/0 (Warner 5, Watson 1)
Wow, there's some real needle out there. Aleem Dar's had to step in and cool things off between Gary Wilson and David Warner in the very first over. Not too sure who the instigator was ... Niall O'Brien's also involved himself. Warner responds with a short-arm jab that isn't timed but has enough on it to clear mid-on, sparking yet another volley of verbiage from the gallery behind him
End of innings
Ireland will be disappointed at their total, but it does at least give their bowlers something to try and defend. Their day got off to a disastrous start, as they lost their captain Will Porterfield first ball, and it took an age for the innings to get up and running as wickets fell regularly. A fifty run stand between the O'Brien brothers stabilised things, and all hope is not lost for the underdogs. This did look like a very good batting track, however, and Australia shouldn't be unduly tested. Shouldn't be ...
Over 20 - Ire 123/7 (Jones 14, Cusack 15)
Jones ends the innings with a flourish! Watto thought he'd be able to get past the lower order bat with a cheeky slower ball bouncer, but Jones was deep in his crease and waiting for it, sending the ball over deep square leg for the first six of the innings. A flustered Watto brushes his (admittedly rather luscious) hair out of his face and fires down a wide outside off, but then recovers well to deny the Irish another boundary in the over.
- 19th Sep 2012
- Ireland won the toss and elected to bat.
- R. Premadasa Stadium
- A S Dar and H D P K Dharmasena
australia BATTING CARD
|Warner||c O'Brien b Dockrell||26|
|Hussey||lbw b O'Brien||10|
|Total||15.1 Overs||125 - 3|