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Australia crushed minnows Ireland by 7 wickets in the second match of the ICC World T20 today in Colombo, restricting the newcomers to just 123-7 in their 20 overs, before knocking off the runs in just 15.1 overs. Shane Watson was the star of the show with both bat and ball, making a quickfire half-century after having taken 3 wickets earlier in the day.
Ireland, hoping to pick up an upset win against the Australians, got their day off to a perfect start, winning the toss and opting to make first use of the pitch at Colombo.
Australia continued to leave out David Hussey from their playing eleven with Cameron White getting the nod in the middle order. There were just three specialist bowlers in the Aussie line-up with left-arm chinaman bowler 41-year old Brad Hogg supporting the young quickies Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc.
There were no surprises in the Irish line-up with the O'Brien brothers expected to lead the way with the bat, while Trent Johnston and George Dockrell were the bowlers to keep an eye on.
Ireland's perfect start soon turned pear shaped as they slid to 33-4 inside 4 overs. Shane Watson struck with the first ball of the match, having Ireland skipper William Porterfield caught at fine-leg off a top-edged hook. Mitchell Starc removed Paul Stirling for 7, while Ed Joyce (16) and Gary Wilson (5) fell to the spinners, Glenn Maxwell and Brad Hogg respectively.
The O'Brien brothers Niall (20) and Kevin (35) resurrected the innings by adding 52 runs for the 5th wicket before Shane Watson returned to remove both men in the 15th over. Alex Cusack (15*) and Nigel Jones (14*) added some late runs to push Ireland up to 123-7 in their 20 overs.
David Warner and Shane Watson got Australia off to a flier, smashing their way to 60 in 7 overs before the little left-hander fell to the spin of George Dockrell, caught in the deep. It was a bit of a mixed bag from Warner, who was on the receiving end of plenty of chatter from the Irish fielders, having dished out plenty himself when in the field.
At the other end, an ultra-relaxed Shane Watson looked in spectacular form, powering his way to a half-century in just 28 balls. Five boundaries and 3 sixes marked his stay at the crease before he was run out 51 as a result of some lazy running. Australia though were well on their way to victory at 91-2.
Michael Hussey failed to make the most of his time out in the middle, falling to Kevin O'Brien for 10. However, that meant Cameron White (22*) and George Bailey (6*) got a little bit of a hit as Australia cruised to victory in 15.1 overs.
Australia next take on the West Indies on Saturday, while Ireland have to wait till Monday before they can face the same opposition.
Australia: Shane Watson, David Warner, Mike Hussey, George Bailey (c), Cameron White, Matthew Wade (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Dan Christian, Brad Hogg, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc.
Ireland: Will Porterfield (c), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O'Brien, Gary Wilson (wk), Kevin O'Brien, Trent Johnston, George Dockrell, Nigel Jones, Boyd Rankin, Alex Cusack
Ireland 123-7 (20 overs, 6.15rpo)
K O'Brien 35 (29) S Watson 3-26
N O'Brien 20 (24) M Starc 2-20
Australia 125-3 (15.1 overs, 8.24rpo)
S Watson 51 (30) G Dockrell 1-31
D Warner 26 (23) K O'Brien 1-18
Australia win by 7 wickets
File Photograph Copyright: Barry Zee
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