Match summary: Australia move to second spot on point table.
Australia turned in a solid performance to beat Ireland and pick up their second set of full points, which lifted them to second place behind New Zealand in the Group 1 points table. The 42-run win eased them past England, who play group leader New Zealand tomorrow (Tuesday).
Chasing 179, Lorcan Tucker (71 not out off 48 balls) was the only Irish batsman to play the Australian attack with any conviction after Mitchell Starc’s double strike. It left Ireland tottering at 25/5 after early strikes from Pat Cummins and Glen Maxwell. Tucker added 43 with Gareth Delany for the sixth wicket, but leggie Adam Zampa (2-19) killed off the Irish challenge.
Australia, who were put to bat, racked up 179/5 in 20 overs on the strength of skipper Aaron Finch’s 44-ball 63. Mitch Marsh (28) and Marcus Stoinis (25) raised visions of a total of over 200, but the Irish bowlers pulled it back in the slog overs.
Despite the loss, Ireland are still in the race for the semifinal spots.
Australia win by 42 runs
Lorcan Tucker (71 not out) remained tall as Ireland were all out for 137 in 18.1 overs after chasing Australia’s 179. Barry McCarthy fell to Cummins and Josh Little was run out, and Australia won by 42 runs
50 for Tucker
Zampa pushes Ireland towards defeat
Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa turned in a fine spell to quell Ireland challenge after Lorcan Tucker (44) steered them out of a slump. Zampa’s two wickets helped push Ireland to 106/8 at the end of 15 overs. Tucker’s innings has been a brave performance against the swing and pace of Australian bowlers.
Tucker keeps the Irish fight alive
Lorcan Tucker (25 not out) and Gareth Delany (14) added 43 for the sixth wicket before Delany perished. That left Ireland at 73/6 in 10 overs, a long way from Australia’s 179. Tucker earlier dismissed the Mitchell Starc threat will a couple of boundaries, and it required Marcus Stoinis’s medium pace to dismiss Delany. Australia will look to win by 75 runs or more, ease past England's net run rate.
Ireland crumble against Aussie attack
Mitchell Starc’s homing inswinging yorkers accounted for two Irish batters as they slumped to 49/5 at the end of the powerplay (6 overs), chasing Australia’s 179. Ireland’s blistering start was pegged back by Pat Cummins before Glenn Maxwell prised out two more with his off-spin. Starc’s double strike took the wind out of Ireland before Lorcan Tucker (17) and Gareth Delany started a repair job.
Midway summary: Finch fires Australia to fighting total
Skipper Aaron Finch overcame a slow start to finish strongly at 63 (44 balls) to steer Australia to 179/5 in 20 overs against Ireland in a Group 1 game at Perth. Opting to bowl, Ireland dismissed Australian opener David Warner cheaply, but Mitch Marsh (28) helped Finch string together 52 for the second wicket.
Glenn Maxwell (13) couldn’t get going, but Marcus Stoinis (35) looked ominous, and an imposing total looked possible. But Ireland's bowlers were excellent in the slog, giving away only 17 in 3 overs before the final over, which went for 17. Barry McCarthy (3-29) was Ireland’s best bowler, while Josh Little (2-21) and George Dockrell (0-24) were equally effective.
The total is good enough for the Australian bowlers to halt Ireland’s march. The Irish will need a good start to make a match of it.
Australia set Ireland target of 180
Ireland fought back well in the slog overs and restricted Australia to 179/5 in 20 overs. When Aaron Finch (63) and Marcus Stoinis (35) were at the crease, a total over 200 looked possible. But Ireland pulled it back.
Finch scores 50 as Stoinis hunts for sixes
Aaron Finch cracked a half-century as Australia reached 134/3 in 15 overs. Marcus Stoinis played himself before he shifted gears into the six-hitting mode. One of the sixes was foiled by an excellent piece of fielding from Gareth McCarthy. But Stoinis continued to hunt for boundaries as Finch preferred to give him strike. Australia are well poised to step up the scoring as the innings heads towards the slog overs.
Australia cautious after the loss of Marsh
The fall of Mitch Marsh seemed to have slowed down Australia, although Glenn Maxwell lashed the last ball of the 10th over for a six to help his team to 78/2. Australia will look to kick on from here, and the Irish bowling hasn’t been menacing so far. Marsh reached out to slash only to edge Gareth McCarthy to the keeper after he had added 52 with Finch for the second wicket.
Finch leads the way for Australia
Aaron Finch seemed to find his timing as the game wore on, and the Australian captain unfurled some excellent shots as his team finished the powerplay (6 overs) at 38/1. After Ireland put them into bat on a bouncy Brisbane wicket, Australia lost opener David Warner, who continued his poor run of scores. Mitch Marsh looked comfortable, and along with Finch, he’s kept the scorers busy.
Here we go...
Captain Aaron Finch and David Warner open for Australia. Josh Little with the new ball for Ireland.
Ireland win toss and opt to field
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch (captain), Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood
Ireland: Paul Stirling, Andy Balbirnie (captain), Lorcan Tucker(wicketkeeper), Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Gareth Delany, Mark Adair, Fionn Hand, Barry McCarthy and Josh Little.
Preview: Australia must guard against complacency
Shyam A. Krishna, Senior Associate Editor
The scramble for points in Group 1 makes the Ireland game very crucial for Australia. They have to win handsomely to lift their sagging net run rate to nurture hopes of making the semifinals. That’s not easy since Ireland are a competitive side: a fact attested by their upset win over England, easily the most powerful team in the T20 World Cup.
That result will be in their minds when Aaron Finch’s team clash with Ireland in Brisbane. The Gabba pitch should help the Aussie pack, and they should be able to restrict the Irish scoring if they bowl to potential, although skipper Andy Balbirnie, Paul Stirling and George Dockrell have been among the runs
The Irish bowlers led by Josh Little are no pushovers. It should worry David Warner, who’s been struggling for runs, and captain Finch, whose striking is far from ideal. Marcus Stoinis was at his best against Sri Lanka, and that should calm Aussie nerves.
Despite the Irish talent and tenacity, it will be difficult for them to upstage the defending champions in their backyard unless the Australians are complacent.