July 16, 2001

Southern Stars complete clean-sweep of British Isles tour

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The Australian Southern Stars completed their eleven-match tour of the British Isles with a clean-sweep of the three one-day international series against Ireland on the weekend.

Australia had completed the English leg of their tour last week with a perfect record, winning all three warm-up games, three one-day internationals and two Test matches.

Following Thursday's five-wicket victory in the opening game of the series against Ireland at Rathmines, the Australian women defeated the home side by nine wickets on Saturday, with both of the weekend games being played at College Park, Dublin. The Australians capped off the weekend by dismissing the Irish for 46 in Sunday's crushing 201-run win.

Ireland made 119 for 7 on Saturday from their fifty overs after winning the toss and batting first. Cathryn Fitzpatrick took an ODI career-best of 5/14, with Julie Hayes claiming 2/14. Miriam Grealey top scored for Ireland with 57 after she came to the crease at 7 for 3. Grealey shared a fourth-wicket partnership of 85 with Clare O'Leary (30).

With Belinda Clark resting from this match, Lisa Keightley and Michelle Goszko began the Australian pursuit for 120. Goszko's dismissal for 17 was the only Australian wicket to fall as the visitors claimed victory in the 28th over. Both Keightley and captain-for-a-day Karen Rolton made 51 not out, Rolton's half-century coming from just 34 deliveries.

Clark returned to the helm of the Australian side on Sunday, and shared in a 157-run opening stand with Queenslander Sally Cooper after winning the toss. The Australian captain scored 80 while Cooper, taking part in her first tour with the Southern Stars, made 85.

Despite a collapse in the late overs, Australia finished their fifty overs with 247 for 9. Leg-spinner Ciara Metcalfe was the most successful of the Irish bowlers, taking 3/43 from her ten overs, including the wickets of both Cooper and Clark. Saibh Young (2/47) and Isobel Joyce (1/49) were Ireland's other wicket-takers.

Ireland laboured for 23 overs before registering their lowest-ever total against Australia of 46. Only Grealey (11) and captain Nikki Squire (11*) reached double figures, with Ireland batting a player short due to the absence through injury of Barbara McDonald. Therese McGregor took an ODI career-best 4/8 from six overs, while Cathryn Fitzpatrick claimed another three wickets to complete a productive weekend.

Charmaine Mason took 1/4 from four overs on Sunday in her final game for Australia, completing a nine-year international career in which she took 83 wickets at 13.86 in 46 ODIs and 13 wickets at 26.08 in six Tests.