Ireland v Australia, Only ODI, Dublin June 17, 2010

Australia survive an Irish scare


Australia 231 for 9 (Paine 81, K O'Brien 3-43) beat Ireland 192 (Porterfield 39, Hopes 5-14) by 39 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Australia almost became the joke of the day in Dublin before James Hopes' five wickets ensured a seriously rusty performance ended in a 39-run success over Ireland. It was an ODI that was meant to be a warm-up for Ricky Ponting's side, but it was rightly treated as a full-scale international by Ireland and the highly-fancied visitors were almost embarrassed.

The captain William Porterfield started the dramatic chase of Australia's 232 by blasting three fours off Ryan Harris' first over and he later pulled a six off Clint McKay during a frenetic 80-run opening partnership with Paul Stirling. It felt like a Twenty20 game but eventually turned into a more familiar exchange between the world's No.1-ranked team and one of the minnows. There was much relief among the Australians when Hopes stood up with a career-best 5 for 14 off nine overs and Ireland were dismissed for 192.

With the bat the tourists were uncertain as they struggled with the pace on a slow, low pitch, and the bowling was even worse initially. Doug Bollinger, Harris and McKay were pounded for 76 off the first 10 overs in a horrible opening as they bowled too short and were punished.

Stirling punched his way to a run-a-ball 36, but he became too adventurous when going across to Harris and lost his leg stump. The spray from Harris after the dismissal showed how irritating the afternoon had become for the Australians. Harris followed up by having Gary Wilson lbw to a ball coming back before Porterfield (39 off 42) was tangled by a Nathan Hauritz offspinner and bowled. Suddenly the locals had gone from favourites to the trouble of 86 for 3.

Alex Cusack and Niall O'Brien steadied the situation during a stand of 51 to retain hope of a first win over Australia. However, Cusack exited with 30 after being lbw to Hopes and Hauritz (2 for 40) had Niall O'Brien (15) caught behind in the next over. Hopes followed up by removing Kevin O'Brien and knocked over Trent Johnson, who was carrying a badly bruised finger, and Peter Connell in consecutive balls. John Mooney held out with 38, putting on 36 for the final wicket, until he skied to Ponting.

The Australians have a practice match against Middlesex on Saturday before the opening ODI of the five-match series against England on Tuesday. Significant improvement on this performance is needed, although they will be more comfortable with the conditions at Lord's and the Rose Bowl.

Tim Paine steered Australia's uncomfortable innings with a hard-working 81 at the start of a difficult day. The visitors struggled when they fell to 86 for 3 in the 23rd over before Paine and Cameron White (42) stepped in to set the hosts a challenging total.

Paine, who is filling in for the injured Brad Haddin, wants to gain a spot in the side as a specialist batsman and he did a solid job in testing circumstances. He found the going tough throughout but refused to give in until he clipped the impressive Kevin O'Brien to his brother Niall at midwicket.

The highlights for Paine were three pulls off Boyd Rankin - two went for six and another for four - in a hardworking, 122-ball assignment. The O'Brien brothers combined again to remove Michael Hussey (8) and Nathan Hauritz (19) as Kevin led the way with 3 for 43.

Ponting ordered some batting practice for his team after winning the toss, but the visitors were under pressure having lost Shane Watson (13), Ponting (33) and Michael Clarke (0). Ponting was chasing some form after a lay-off of almost three months, but he was frustrated into holing out to deep midwicket off Stirling's offspin.

Cusack (2 for 38) had Clarke stumped in a tight call and Ireland were on top before Paine and White put on 66 for the fourth wicket to regain some control. White gave Stirling (2 for 34) his second breakthrough while Rankin finished with 2 for 45. It was an impressive effort from Ireland even though they could not achieve an unforgettable result.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rko on June 21, 2010, 7:01 GMT

    I am from India, and I was lookin forward 2 watch this match, coz Irish team has always done well in the past and Australia was coming after a long lay off. But unfortunately, this match was not telecasted in India. I am sure, there would be many disappointed cricket fans who couldn't watch the match here. And as it turned out 2 be, Ireland gave Australia good run for their money. Actually, I think Ireland should not be satisfied with this performance. As i have learned from the scorecard and blogs, Ireland was in such a good position after 10 overs and not everyday, you get this type of opportunity to topple a side like Australia.They missed a great opportunity. They need to win games now, not like Bangladesh, who fights but dont know how 2 win. Winning is the only thing that can raise their level. And if Ireland can come up as a force 2 beat in future and it has the potential, I can tell you, cricket lovers around the world would be very very happy.

  • Andrew on June 19, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    Have to say well done to Ireland. They continue to punch above their weight. Wish the ICC would do more for Irish cricket. Hope the match knocked some of the rust off our Oz boys - Paine, Hopes & White look good already. A strong showing against Middlesex will be just the ticket...

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2010, 16:10 GMT

    Well done to James Hopes and Tim Paine. Assessed the conditions and played accordingly. Also well done to the Irish. To play very good cricket whether it be a World Cup match or a warm up match. I hope you keep improving and become a regular part of the International fixture.

  • Will on June 18, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    errr. only a slightly myopic Aussie could say that this "End of over 10 (9 runs) Ireland 76/0 (156 runs required from 40 overs, RR: 7.60, RRR: 3.90" did not create just a little panic in the ranks. I've seen the pictures and talked to people who were at Clontarf - the Aussies were not happy. Well done Ireland - if they'd had Eoin and Ed coming in nos 3 and 4 then it would have been game over.

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2010, 12:42 GMT

    As an Aussie who was at the match can I just add that this was a terrific game to experience. Firstly the setting in the grounds of Clontarff CC were superb and never will I get the opportunity to see Australia play in such intimate and friendly surroundings. Ireland deserve tremendous credit for the way that they approached and played the game. Their bowling was tight and fielding, for the best part of the game, bang on. 232 was a gettable target but there was always the feeling around the ground that it was going to be a few too many- THEN came the first 10 overs of the chase, at the end of those frantic first overs Ireland suddenly needed less than 4 an over to win and it was most definitely game on. The steady flow of Irish wickets did not abate and in the end the Aussie won on the back ONE player, James Hopes. His bowling was magnificent and was the difference between the two teams. All credit to the Irish and may the Aussies be back on the Emerald Isle soon.

  • John on June 18, 2010, 10:24 GMT

    Settingsun, I believe Callum Ferguson is currently injured, or coming back from injury. We have indeed given Ireland credit for the way they played, but the manner of our victory doesn't matter. Whether it was comfortable or not, we still won.

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2010, 8:53 GMT

    It is in deed good to see Ireland almost toppling tables on Aussies. There is always some one who would come to rescue of Aussie when ever they are in a bad status. This time it was batting of Paine & Bowling of Hopes. This is some thing Aussie has and what most of the other teams do not have in International cricket. May be their total commitment & dedication togeather with quality metal coaching towards the game could be the reason. Dispite all such talent behind them & still to see Ireland giving them a good run will make other International cricket playing countries open their eyes and even should recomend this team to get International status very soon.

  • Steve on June 18, 2010, 8:36 GMT

    I also think it's a shame that more Aussies are not giving Ireland the credit they deserved for such a good performance - after all, this is not an isolated performance from the Irish, they are regularly giving the top nations a run for their money and rarely get comprehensively rolled over. It was NOT a comfortable victory, it was distinctly UNcomfortable for the majority of the match - give the other team some deserved credit. For once.

  • Steve on June 18, 2010, 7:57 GMT

    All these Aussies desperately trying to convince themselves this was a comfortable victory is a very poor attempt at masking the genuine concerns they have about such a below par performance against a relative minnow. What happened to Callum Ferguson anyway?

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2010, 7:30 GMT

    minnows will be minnows. But Top-ranked is not so called Toppers now

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