Australia captain George Bailey praises man-of-the-match Shane Watson after his heroics against Ireland.

Last Updated: 19/09/12 5:43pm

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Captain George Bailey heaped praise on Shane Watson after his man-of-the match display inspired Australia to an emphatic seven-wicket victory over Ireland in their opening match of the Twenty20 World Cup.

Watson ensured the minnows from the Emerald Island were never in with a sniff of causing an upset by claiming three wickets and smashing a quickfire half-cetury.

The victory puts Australia on the brink of a place in the Super Eights stage, while Ireland will now have to beat West Indies - the other side in Group B - to stay in the tournament.

"He is not bad, is he?" Bailey said of Watson. "His fielding could probably improve a little.

"No (I am joking), he is a complete cricketer and I think the starts are so important for Twenty20s.

"He is bowling our first over, opening the batting and sets the tone for us. He was outstanding for us today.

"I thought our fielding was a little sloppy. I thought we started really well, had them four down and then we just took our foot off the peddle a little bit. That is probably not good enough.

"I am thrilled with that performance. I thought we started really well and Watto certainly led the charge with the ball and finished it off with the bat."

Ireland counterpart William Porterfield, who was dismissed for a diamond duck for the first time in his international Twenty20 career, admits his side never recovered from a disastrous start.

"We are a better side than that," the Ireland captain said. "The start wasn't great, losing those four wickets pretty early.

"It set us off on the backfoot and we needed to start off well to get us a platform but it didn't happen.

"We manage to claw back, kept fighting and managed to pick up a couple of wickets down the middle so I can't fault the lads for trying."

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