Australia v Ireland, World T20 2012, Group B, Colombo

All-round Watson knocks down Ireland

The Report by Daniel Brettig

September 19, 2012

Comments: 120 | Text size: A | A

Australia 125 for 3 (Watson 51) beat Ireland 123 for 7 (Kevin O'Brien 35, Watson 3-26, Starc 2-20) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Shane Watson got rid of Kevin O'Brien, Australia v Ireland, World Twenty20 2012, Group B, Colombo, September 19, 2012
Shane Watson had an impressive day, and the O'Briens were among his victims © AFP
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Players/Officials: Shane Watson
Series/Tournaments: ICC World Twenty20
Teams: Australia | Ireland

A commanding performance from Shane Watson delivered a handsome opening World Twenty20 victory for Australia over Ireland, as George Bailey's team showed aggressive intent to pursue the one trophy missing from the national team's display cabinet.

Ireland had fancied their chances of upsetting Australia, but were left with their odds of progression diminished and their ears ringing from a few verbal barbs delivered by opponents in no mood to be accommodating to a team they had briefly been ranked below on the ICC's T20 rankings earlier this month.

Watson influenced proceedings from the first ball of the match, a bouncer Ireland's captain Will Porterfield hooked to fine leg. He returned to the bowling crease to snuff out a mid-innings revival, then smashed 51 to ensure a modest chase that never assumed anything more than nuisance dimensions.

Mitchell Starc and Hogg also delivered telling spells to help keep Ireland quiet, their 20 overs devoid of sustained momentum save for a rearguard stand of 50 between Kevin and Niall O'Brien from the depths of 33 for 4. Kevin O'Brien hinted at the mastery he had shown against England in the 2011 World Cup, but both he and his brother were out-thought by Watson in the same over.

Aside from Watson's all-round prowess, the other hallmark of Australia's display was their aggression, manifested in a series of verbal stoushes with their opponents. The umpires intervened more than once, and no-one was left in any doubt about the Australians intent to make life as uncomfortable as possible for their opposition.

Australia's pursuit needed to be dogged by early wickets for Ireland to have a chance, but Watson and David Warner played with plenty of sense. They were helped by a wayward Boyd Rankin, who gave away four wides on the way to conceding 12 runs from the third over. Trent Johnston was taken for 19 in the fourth, and from that moment the result never seemed in any great doubt.

George Dockrell accounted for Warner, who punched to deep midwicket, and Paul Stirling almost grasped a one-handed return catch from Watson. Having failed to take the half chance, both Stirling and Dockrell were to feel the brunt of Watson's power, Australia's vice-captain posting a half century from his 28th ball. An overly languid run through to the non-striker's end was punished by Johnston's direct hit, but by then Watson had done more than enough to put victory within sight and also underline his importance to Australia's campaign.

Michael Hussey was lbw to Kevin O'Brien, and Cameron White offered a difficult chance that Johnston put down off Rankin, leaving Australia to conclude their chase with less certainty than Watson and Warner had started it.

Watson had taken the new ball for Australia, a move Ireland's captain Porterfield would have noted from the warm-up games. What he did not expect was a first-ball bumper, as Watson tested the bounce to be extracted from a flint-hard Premadasa pitch. The ball was well-directed, Porterfield's hook shot was hurried, and Mitchell Starc sauntered in from fine leg to take the catch.

There were runs to be found in the pitch, Stirling cracking the final ball of the over to the cover fence to prove it, but Australia's bowlers were sharp and varied enough to prevent Ireland from finding any sort of rhythm. Starc found a little swing but it was bounce that did for Stirling, his top edge sailing high for Watson to make a testy running catch look routine.

Bailey introduced Maxwell's off-breaks for the sixth over, and was rewarded when Ed Joyce toe-ended a drive to mid off. Brad Hogg's introduction followed, and he too struck in his opening over when Gary Wilson played around a delivery pitching in line and straightening to win Aleem Dar's lbw verdict. None of Ireland's batsmen looked entirely capable of reading Hogg's variations.

Ireland were stuck in the T20 predicament of early wickets, the halfway point passing at a wobbly 46 for 4. The brothers O'Brien were left to fashion a salvaging partnership, Kevin O'brien hinting at his potential for destruction with a handful of boundaries. He responded to taunts from the Australian fieldsmen by clattering Starc through midwicket and cover, and the 50-stand was raised. But Niall O'Brien was unable to follow suit, bowled by Watson's slower ball when trying to heave across the line.

Watson was delivering a keynote spell, and he made it more so by coaxing Kevin O'Brien to touch a shortish, sharpish delivery on its way through to Matthew Wade. Called on to deliver the last over of the innings as well as the first, Watson allowed the innings' only six to Nigel Jones, but the concession of 12 from the final six balls still left Australia's batsmen with a chase they were always likely to negotiate in some comfort.

Innings Dot balls 4s 6s Powerplay (0-6) 16-20 overs NB/Wides
Ireland 55 14 1 29-3 37-1 0/1
Australia 34 13 3 53-0 4-0 (16.1) 0/6

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by RandyOZ on (September 20, 2012, 23:40 GMT)

I love how the poms try and claim scots as their own. Can you imagine us claiming a Kiwi. Laughable.

Posted by RyanSmith on (September 20, 2012, 23:03 GMT)

@ Hammond "@RyanSmith all I can say is we'll see" Yes, that is all you can say because there is no evidence that the youngsters here are terrible. Especially when compared with England's! The fact a 38 year old Steve Waugh was playing in the Australian side didn't mean that once he left, the Aussie's wouln't go on to whitewash an Ashes series 5-0 a few years later or that they wouldn't go on to equal a record 16 straight test wins. So having old players in the team is proof of nothing except that someone that old wants to keep playing AND that they are good enough to. If our youngsters are that bad, why have we got a 19 yr old starting for us in the T20 world cup? At least we were able to win a game against SA in our most recent test series against them, with said 19 yr old (who was 18) running through Amla, Kallis, Smith, De Villiers and co.

Posted by Htc-Android on (September 20, 2012, 21:16 GMT)

@Pappu_bhai. Without kohli current indian team is as strong as Afganistan only as the t20 match against Afganistan has proved it.

Posted by recycle-bin-is-empty on (September 20, 2012, 14:17 GMT)

@Marcio Yeah Ind got beat up in those 2 series last year and I wont even attempt to argue that the teams performance was abysmal to say the least, but judging our team's outside performance on those 2 series alone is wrong. Just like yours, our team also won in WI, NZ, SL and drew the series against SA, infact we had the 3rd test almost won but the brilliance of Kallis rescued SA. The point is we lost in Eng yes, you did in odi too n most prob. will lose in tests too against them in Eng in the upcoming Ashes. Eng knows they are going to be thrashed by India later this year in tests, we already got our revenge in ODI's by thrshing them 5-0 last year. Again, we lost in Aus, yes, but you know yourself that your team's fate isnt going to be any different later this year.

Posted by reddawn1975 on (September 20, 2012, 13:27 GMT)

Australian fans why is Steve O'Keefe not in the Australian side the guy is a very good spin bowler an excellent batsman but yet everybody seems to over look him what a waste of talent in all forms of the game.

Posted by Hammond on (September 20, 2012, 13:05 GMT)

@seniorgators- mate no-one is perfect. Still I will take England number one in odi's and T20's and second in tests (by 3 points) any day. Makes me smile constantly ;)

Posted by jb633 on (September 20, 2012, 12:55 GMT)

@A_Yorkshire_Lad- it can't really be all that bad if you think that we finished 3rd in the olympics which is essentially the biggest sporting event in the world. I do agree with you though that there is an attitude that exists where sporty children are not given the same backing at schools as musical or academic kids. Having lived in both Oz and UK I must say that the Aussie school sport is better in terms of funding, planning etc. However the problem with Aus sport seemed to lie in geographical locations. There were plenty of talented kids who were not prepared to travel the great lenghts to represent their state sides etc and they were dismissed. English sport in private schools is run very well but the problems lie in state schools. I hope with the olympic success teachers will no longer place higher priority on music and focus on sport. Who cares about music anyway if there is a game to be played?

Posted by Selassie-I on (September 20, 2012, 12:46 GMT)

Think the Aussie's laid into the Irish with the sledges a bit much, fair enough against a test playing nation but not a minnow. Guess they have to pull out every possible trick to ensure a win, shame the Afgans weren't in this group, they look like they'd thrash the Aussies.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (September 20, 2012, 12:18 GMT)

Pretty convincing display by the Aussies .Only chance for the Irish to even have a semblance of an upset was for Aus to have a really bad day or on a minefield sort of a surface where the match result is a lottery irrespective of the diff in class between the sides and in a low scorer the luckier side wins.Aus were up and ready,were very potent with ball and in field.Watto took care of what needed to be done with the bat.Aus will take the points but will definitely take note of areas to improve as tougher tests lie ahead.Irish were a disgrace(almost) not only to an elite comp but also to the minnow nations taking part.This was totally clueless and meek display(although task was cut out),much better was expected.This game also expose those who were boasting of their test status when they have virtually done nothing in ODI/T20 in so many games against Test sides.Only big win was with Pak,win over an ordinary England nothin to shout of.ICC should dismiss them,give chance to Kenya,etc.

Posted by Hammond on (September 20, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

@ScottStevo- I'm not anywhere near being a pom mate. @RyanSmith- all I can say is we'll see, if the young blokes are that good why is a 42 year old bowling for us in the T20 world cup, and why is Ponting still playing in the test side? @rickyvoncanterbury I felt all the glory mate last ashes especially at Brisbane when England were 1/517 and all the crowd bar the Barmy Army left after paying all that money. Absolute Gold!

Posted by seniorgators on (September 20, 2012, 12:03 GMT)

@Biggus I am wondering what coverage you are getting that can pick up what all the players are saying ? You talk about a stream of random abuse. I have heard nothing like that and I wonder why the umpires have'nt heard the same and acted upon it. Surely if they were to hear this there would be reports. I saw one umpire tell an Irishman to settle down but I have'nt heard of any reports from umpires. Abuse you say. Iadmit I have seen some players having a few words including Warner and Watson and the O'Briens but have neither heard or lip read anything that constituted random streams of abuse. Could you direct me to the coverage where you have heard this to make such a statement.Perhaps you are putting two and two together and coming up with an unconfirmed guess.

Posted by dinosaurus on (September 20, 2012, 11:40 GMT)

Biggus,

The camera men know it's coming, it's universal. The one infinitely repeated word in international cricket is the "f-bomb". It's use is by no means confined to the Australians - it is used just as much by those whose first language isn't English. But it is used most of the time as self-criticism. The nastiest use I've seen (not by an Australian, mind) was directed to a team mate after a dropped catch!

Posted by Pappu_bhai on (September 20, 2012, 11:39 GMT)

Heey Marcio.They have always won when Warner performed.But Remember he is not in his best form now and he will perform only in one game in recent tournaments. He played better yesterday and cant see him perform again.As i always told Jeeven Mendis is better batter and bowler than Watson and still Mendis is not able to prove against Quality sides.So how can we expect Watson do the same. Without Warner current ausise team is as strong as Afganistan only as recent series against Afganistan has proved it.

Posted by Bogelking on (September 20, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

There was ferocity in the way that the Aussies played to Overcome the Irish. Before the match- to be more precise before the tournament- there was a similiar feeling that the Giant Killers Ireland could defeat the mighty Aussies provided the uncertainity of the game. This was especially corroborated with the poor show in the t20 that they played in UAE, which they lost 2-1, eventually leading them below the said opponent(Ireland). But what we saw on wednesday was a show from a top team not going to the complacent mood, and not allowing the devastating Irish batsmen, sound in their county stint experience settle. Seriously this attitude is what has distinguished the Australians from the rest of the world in their Prime time. The match proved that ranking is an anomaly, and the experience that one has gathered to become a super power in cricket could not be annihilated within a whisker of time in this short format. Congrats Aussies and carry on with this momentum.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (September 20, 2012, 11:09 GMT)

@burgess Well said !! not the reply i was expecting.

Posted by A_Yorkshire_Lad on (September 20, 2012, 10:45 GMT)

@Rabbito - mm , a few home truths there and no mistake. That's us told ! Seriously , you've rather hit the nail on the head. I think the problem here is that for years kids have been brought up with the " Oh , it's not the winning , it's the TAKING PART that's important ! " attitude - certainly , that's what I remember from junior school where the teachers were mainly women who often had very little interest in sport , it has to be said. Also , from what I gather , the Australian government has always placed great emphasis on sporting achievement , the importance of national pride and so on ; up until very recently ( read : the Olympics ! ) British governments ( and society in general ) have always taken a more , ahem , ' relaxed ' attitude to such things. There are also elements in our society who positively like to brag about their apathy to sport. Hopefully , these attitudes will begin to change but some things are more deeply rooted that we realise . There , I've said it !!

Posted by Marcio on (September 20, 2012, 10:38 GMT)

@Bappu-bai "I believe Ind,Pak,SAF and WI in the Semis. Can Aus beat any of these teams? I seriously doubt it." Australia beat ALL these teams in their most recent T20 series, and only lost one of those series (after tieing one game and losing the series 2-1 on a super over) against PAK. Why do you think they will not be able to beat any of them again? Has something changed in the last week that I don't know about? You are a perfect example of someone who simply has an "idea" of teams in his head, one that has little relationship with reality. If Afghanistan can come within a few runs of India, I hardly think AUS will be overdaunted by their "aura".

Posted by Marcio on (September 20, 2012, 10:28 GMT)

@ cric_roch, your spin defies reality. You are saying all theams struggle away from home, therefore India's away thrashings are the same as everyone else's. Why say "AUS struggled even against a second-string WI?" Last 20 mnths? Australia beat the WI 2-0 in the tests, and drew the other two formats. They beat SL away from home in both ODIs and tests. They beat SA in ODIs away from home and drew the tests. They beat BANG in the ODIs away from home as well. They beat PAK in the ODIs recently in the UAE. They lost only 1 ODI series, no test series. I'd call that a pretty decent away record. Are you honestly suggesting that this can compare to the absolute shallacking India copped in ENG and AUS recently? You are a true believer!

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (September 20, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

@assie Hammond Glory never fades mate , but living in Australia you do not even get to feel the euphoria of an England Victory and those victories will fade because there is no glory.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (September 20, 2012, 10:20 GMT)

dsig3 totally agree re Cummins and if was up to me Starc would not be in Sri Lanka either.

Posted by Biggus on (September 20, 2012, 10:16 GMT)

The problem with this tendency to direct streams of abuse at opposition players is that it makes it's way into the junior ranks, monkey see, monkey do. Go down and watch the kids play at the local oval and wait until one of them decides to emulate his hero Shane Watson or Dave Warner and direct a stream of random abuse at some other kid, then come back and tell me it's all good.

Posted by brusselslion on (September 20, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

@Rabbito 22:49: Talk about leading with your chin mate. I'll agree that England's cricket performance over the past year has slipped but it's still been good enough to defeat the Aussies whenever we've met. Other sports? I think that the UK's performance has been OK to say the least: Tour de France? Golf US PGA? US Tenns open? Olympics? (you name the sport; I dare say a Brit won an event). I understand your reluctance to talk about Rugby U. given the state of the Aussie team. I'll concede that you would probably beat us at Aussie Rules (but if I were you, I'd avoid playing the Irish as it's too close to Gallic Football and they'll probably roll you over). I'm afraid that the glory days of Australian sport seem long gone.

Posted by seniorgators on (September 20, 2012, 10:12 GMT)

@Hammond As usual you got most things wrong again.

Posted by Biggus on (September 20, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

@scored-100-at-the-beach-Sure it's always been around but in my opinion in the last fifteen or so years it's crossed the line.@zenboomerang-Regarding the recent Aus Vs India series well it takes two to tango mate, and India are one of the mouthiest sides going around. Perhaps rather than seconding my concerns about the behaviour of some Australian players you might like to consider the behaviour of some of yours. You should surely tidy up your own house before you concern yourself with ours.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (September 20, 2012, 9:28 GMT)

I just finished reading the summary of the England v Afghanistan match, over 400 comments and not one from an english fan well maybe 1, and it is the group they are in, the teams they need to beat to get to the next round, but bucket loads of insightful and highly educated comments from the well brought up english sports fans (yobs) on the exciting group of Australia ,West Indies and the mighty Irish, must be the most unispiring and boring group of England and India that brings them here yeah thats it

Posted by RyanSmith on (September 20, 2012, 9:26 GMT)

@Hammond "another Aussie in love with faded glory. Get used to Australia's place in world cricket, the young blokes coming through here are terrible." You mean the young blokes who have made the final of the last 2 under 19 world cups?? The young blokes in Aus might be terrible, but when you compare them to the young blokes everywhere else, they show that Australia's place in world cricket is still right at the top of it. When we start losing games to the Netherlands and Ireland, I'll be worried.

Posted by ScottStevo on (September 20, 2012, 9:19 GMT)

@Hammond - another Pom in love with faded glory. Get used to heading back down the ladder, because without that SA merc playing for Eng, you're a team going backwards - even your test captain jumped ship as he can see it sinking! What are the odds on KP laser removing that filthy tattoo off his shoulder before he ever plays international cricket for Eng again???

Posted by Hammond on (September 20, 2012, 9:07 GMT)

@westsider- oh yeah and I must congratulate you at 74 on being able to master Statsguru- my 67 year old father can't even use the internet!

Posted by Moppa on (September 20, 2012, 9:02 GMT)

Sensible observers would take this game as fairly solid evidence that the T20 rankings are somewhere between unreliable and meaningless. But not our good friends @Hammond and @RednWhiteArmy! Nope, they're still banging on about it. I'm not particularly excited about the 'battle for 8th'... much more enthused about the prospect of going into the super eights with nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Posted by Reverend-Cavalier on (September 20, 2012, 8:45 GMT)

@Biggus...how can you say Australia did not sledge under AB. They were the best at it ! (note I did not say worst). AB had these A grade sledgers in his team at various times... S Waugh M Waugh M Hughes S Warne himself G Matthews Thommo D Hookes (rip) and so many more..help me out

Posted by Hammond on (September 20, 2012, 8:36 GMT)

@westsider- another Aussie in love with faded glory. Get used to Australia's place in world cricket, the young blokes coming through here are terrible.

Posted by dsig3 on (September 20, 2012, 8:31 GMT)

A win is a win but our bowling needs to improve. Why are they wasting Cummins in this format bowling slower balls? He does not need to be learning to worry about runs. He should be crafting his wicket taking ability playing domestic 4 day cricket.

Posted by jb633 on (September 20, 2012, 8:09 GMT)

@Meety- probably true I have not read any comments but i'll take your word for it. RandyOz is surely worse though?

Posted by westsider on (September 20, 2012, 7:00 GMT)

Have been reading these sites for months and haven'nt bothered to comment but do get annoyed by posters like rednwhite army and hammond who based on there very brief experience of England being ranked at no 1 in all form of the game keep reminding us (Aust) of our temporary demise.The fact remains that in the period Sept 2001 to2009 Australia were No1 test nation for 94 months England had to wait fromAugust 1980 to 2011 (30 yrs) to achieve no1 and then held it for a miserable 12 months.In that same 30 yrs AUs were No1 six times before starting their 8 years on top.In the ODI between Oct 2002 to date we were No1 for a total of 106 months relinquishing in August 2012 when England managed to hold it for 1 month before losing it to South Africa.The ICC have recently released the NO1 ranked Test teams since 1951 (61 yrs) in that time Australia were No1 for 316 months ,WI 234 months and Eng 101 months. I,m 74 and expect Aus to be No1 several times before my demise.30yrs wow???

Posted by ashani_sl on (September 20, 2012, 5:43 GMT)

Everybody should visit Sri Lanka - best country in the world and see the world famous Sri Lanka smile for yourself. No other people are as friendly and peaceloving as the Sri Lanka people. Don't forget to smile!

Posted by zenboomerang on (September 20, 2012, 5:09 GMT)

@Biggus :- "Clarke seemed to have reined it [sledging] in recently but Bailey seems unwilling or incapable of doing so"... If anything sledging has become much worse since Pup took over from Punter in both Test & ODI - did you miss the Ind v Oz Test series or the tri-series?... Though I agree with your sentiments on sledging, it has been going on since the 1800's & the only period I can recall in the last 50 odd years when it wasn't common in an Oz team was under AB, although it still occurred... Under Tubby Taylor, it was the worst I have ever seen... Re: Bailey - Watson is the worst sledger (& sportsman) in the team, the VC & been in the Oz team for years - what's he going to do?... Sack him... lol... Not if wants to keep his job... Its up to management to set standards for players & they rarely come out from under their rock when it comes to sledging...

Posted by cric_roch on (September 20, 2012, 4:58 GMT)

It has become a habbit for few frustated guys to bring in India in every forum.Inferiority complex is the best word to describe this. They are just trying to satisfy their ego. India thrashed all big teams to win world cup just one year back.Winning and losing part of the game, no other proclaimed teams have won world championships in all formats in last 4 years , if one can show any such achievement by other team then show it rather than blabbering. SA is the only team performing well in foreign conditions all other teams have struggled. India was whitewashed in ENG and AUS. But the same ENG was whitewashed by India, Pak and SL and lost to SA at home. AUS struggled against even Windies-B team, SL showed their true class in SA by scorng 34 in an inning. But still jealousy folks target india. No team is dominating cricket these days.Every indian fan standing by a team with fantastic achievements. In last 4 years , india was number-1 in test for 2 years , WON ODI world up , WON T20 w

Posted by Pappu_bhai on (September 20, 2012, 4:57 GMT)

I think Australia is in the same range as SL and Bangladesh.Will be there till Knock outs.

But later there are so many Better teams than them.

I believe Ind,Pak,SAF and WI in the Semis.Can Aus beat any of these teams?I seriously doubt it.Or else it will be mirracle even with Watson/Warner whoever may be it is.

Posted by Meety on (September 20, 2012, 4:44 GMT)

@Biggus on (September 20 2012, 03:27 AM GMT) - I didn't see much of the Irish innings & what I did see of the match, was only visual as the Pub had the sound down. I think sledging is a broad term that includes acceptable & unacceptable behaviour. IMO - acceptable sledging is when you are standing in the slips & you tell everyone that a nick is coming for sure, the batsmen doesn't know where his off stump is, or the like. Obviously racial taunts & the like is unacceptable.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 4:40 GMT)

indian team should learn something from australian team.

Posted by RandyOZ on (September 20, 2012, 4:33 GMT)

@dinosaurus - noe of the best posts i've read in a while. Well played.

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (September 20, 2012, 4:26 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster, Instead of worrying about the Aussies performance I think u should be more concerned about our own. Seeing the way we played against Afghanistan I dont think we'll progress too far either.( Hope I'm proved wrong!!). Having said that did the Aussies really need to sledge an associate team so much? Some things never change

Posted by RandyOZ on (September 20, 2012, 4:15 GMT)

Australia still hasn't lost to Ireland, how does that feel England?

Posted by Biggus on (September 20, 2012, 3:35 GMT)

@dinosaurus-Disagree! The days of, "Bowl him a piano, perhaps he can play that!" are long gone. Now it's just a stream of four letter words, and you think that's humorous? Acting like that makes our players look arrogant and stupid, and anyone who thinks it's always been like that is kidding themselves.

Posted by Biggus on (September 20, 2012, 3:27 GMT)

@PFEL-Plainly you're a fan of 'mental disintegration' and I am not, but you talk about it as if it's always been that way, which is a long way from the truth. To suggest that people who don't like it should play lawn bowls is getting things all the wrong way around. I would suggest if you want to play or follow a sport where there are no expectations of decent behaviour it is you who should find another focus for yourself, perhaps baseball or soccer. You may find it exciting when our team plays like a bunch of loud mouthed bullies but I can promise you there are many who don't, including most of our former greats, and this sort of approach is doubly egregious when you do it to an associate side. Did they think they couldn't beat the Irish without resorting to cheap abuse? I am a proud Aussie but our team's behaviour for much of the last 15 years has been awful. Clarke seemed to have reined it in recently but Bailey seems unwilling or incapable of doing so.

Posted by dinosaurus on (September 20, 2012, 3:03 GMT)

Most non-Aussies posting here just don't get it. Australians have "rules" about sledging. Plain nastiness, like so many posts here, doesn't work. For sledging to work it has to have an element of humour and be delivered with a smile. And, as for the prominence of anti-Australian sledging, that's a creation of one Tony Greig, who - despite all his Australian-made millions - never misses a chance to "sink the slipper" into his (second) adopted country.

Posted by Meety on (September 20, 2012, 2:35 GMT)

@JB77 on (September 19 2012, 23:18 PM GMT) - didn't like the uniforms either, on another minor topic, the photo of Watson in this article, to quote Pup - he looks like he is having a "..SPECIAL moment..."!!!!!!!

Posted by Meety on (September 20, 2012, 2:33 GMT)

@jb633 on (September 19 2012, 23:31 PM GMT) - just the same as there should be better things to do for poms like MattyP1979, Ozzy Hammond & Red & White Army than pretending to be knowledgable cricket fans!

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 2:30 GMT)

Guys, Ireland has a population of 3.5 million the main sports are hurling, Gaelic football, soccer Rugby Union, and handball .....What is everyone so excited for....They don't play cricket in Ireland....Its a bit like Tasmania playing the USA in baseball...

Posted by Hammond on (September 20, 2012, 2:13 GMT)

Congrats Australia, I would celebrating if I were you, you just cemented 8th place :)

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 2:04 GMT)

Who wants to put us below ireland in the rankings, do it, i dare you. We annihilated Nzl in the warmups, just lost to england and destroyed Ireland, big match will be against WI and we will be tested there

Posted by hmmmmm... on (September 20, 2012, 0:26 GMT)

Australia had the game won by the time bailey and white came to the crease, but the struggle to maintain any momentum/rhythm that ensued out of a very commanding position against a tradesmen like attack, is very worrying. I'm not sure what Mickey Arthur has the selectors smoking, but how can anyone justify david hussey being left out instead of of either of these two or christian? The problem is that bailey is captain (and hence selector) so the only way he can go is through injury unfortunately. A batting order of watson, warner, mhussey, dhussey, white/maxwell/christian (one missing out), wade is a far better looking side....If Australia are really serious about winning they will need to have a side that can score 180/200 if needed - that will only happen at the moment if only one wicket falls, which I doubt once there is a spinner in play.

Posted by PFEL on (September 20, 2012, 0:06 GMT)

I think there are a lot of sensitive sallys around here today. The aussie team under Waugh/Ponting was the greatest of all time, and "mental disintegration" was a big part of that, and one of the most interesting aspects. If you don't like it, go support lawn bowls

Posted by landl47 on (September 20, 2012, 0:00 GMT)

Easy win for Australia- if all the pitches are like this, Aus has a good shot.

Posted by   on (September 19, 2012, 23:59 GMT)

Congratulations Australia for winning this game, made us Aussies proud but what really impressed me about these Australians was their intent and didn't like sitting along with Ireland in the bottom ranking table.

Posted by Chris_P on (September 19, 2012, 23:56 GMT)

@Eric Taylor. You're kidding right? No idea about cricket, have you?.....

Posted by Marcio on (September 19, 2012, 23:40 GMT)

@Eric Taylor, yeah right. No comment aboyt the previous 50 games played by Australia where their behaviour, espcially under Clarke, has been excellent? Keep trying dude. It's hard to write something when Australia win and you are all angry inside, isn't it?

Posted by PFEL on (September 19, 2012, 23:36 GMT)

Great work by Watson, opening the batting and bowling. Goes to show that accuracy and smarts is more important with the ball than pace. IMO McKay should be in the side in place of Cummins, and of course D Hussey in for Christian. It's hard to gauge against Ireland though, If watson can repeat this performance against the stronger sides it will be very impressive

Posted by jb633 on (September 19, 2012, 23:31 GMT)

\@fr9nt-foot-lunge- surely you must have better things to do than pretend to be an English cricket fan

Posted by Marcio on (September 19, 2012, 23:25 GMT)

@Buggsy: "that's not the real front-foot-lunge that posts around here, it's a pretender trying to cause trouble'. And just how is that any different from the original FFL?

Posted by   on (September 19, 2012, 23:20 GMT)

"Verbal Stouches" means bad sports Aussies are still more intent on sledging than playing cricket. Grow up you spoilt overpaid louts

Posted by Potatis on (September 19, 2012, 23:18 GMT)

@Biggus, ok I stand corrected, thanks. I can only go by the text commentry, and that's definately not how it came across.

Posted by JB77 on (September 19, 2012, 23:18 GMT)

Probably not the most important question that could be asked at the moment, but why are our (Australia's) T20 uniforms always so crappy? Why no 'Baggy Green' colour like the ODI uniform? Or some gold (other than a tiny strip)? Why all the grey (as it has been recently) and black (as it was last night)? The uniform last night made us look like we were playing for Jamacia. If we're supposed to accept T20 as a legitimate comp and get behind our team then why not give us uniforms that help us relate to our team?

Posted by Meety on (September 19, 2012, 23:17 GMT)

My main observation from the game was, Rankin should reconsider trying out for the England team. His 10-ball over was woeful & he was out performed by Johnston. Other observation is, sedpite the loss, Ireland look a lot better than the rabble that was Zimbabwe the day before! == == == I don't think it was an easy pitch to score on, par would of been 140 to 145. So Oz bowled reasonably well, with more improvement to come, I think McKay will be important against the WIndies. Hopefully the stint in the middle will result in White finding some form, he was still quite scratchy. Interesting that Starc has a "career" e/r of 4.3 rpo. All up - decent effort by Oz, Ireland not quite at their best, a win is a win!

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (September 19, 2012, 23:10 GMT)

While Australia have beaten the Irish, I for one don't believe this Aussie team can win the tournament. Except Warner and Watson, the batting is fragile and average. The bowling attack could be dependant on the pitches. If there is pace and bounce then sure it could work in the Aussies' favour. The moment the pitches slow down and take turn (which it will as the tournament progresses), their attack becomes limited. So yeah, nothing can be said after this win. Still, I feel Ireland could have played a lot better. The nerves got to them big time and they would have been a lot better chasing whatever Australia set.

Posted by Rabbito on (September 19, 2012, 22:49 GMT)

I can't quite understand you pommies - don't get me wrong, i love a bit of sledgeing, taking the mikey out of each other ect. but you would think you would make sure you've got something to crow about before you get too caried away. in a country of what, about 65 million people, theyre struggleing to get a cricket team that can dominate for more than about a year, before they're smashed by a Pakistan 2nd 11 team. (4 first teamers banned. now for something more positive, Rugby League, their international rugby team couldn't beat our cricket team in a game of rugby. Union -don't need to go there. Whats more, you are more than rubbish at AFL!So how about you get your true potential out of your own population, before you start rubbishing teams from a country with a population of 20 million, whose stayed near the top of a lot of different sports for the past 20 + Years. Whats more, the only way you could dominate for 1 measly year in cricket is through the use of a 50/50 south african/en

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (September 19, 2012, 22:32 GMT)

Congratulations australia, this is a massive result in the battle for 9th place

Posted by derpherp on (September 19, 2012, 22:15 GMT)

@satish619chandar calm down, nothing wrong with a bit of chirping. Mind you Ireland were giving it out as much as the Aussies

Posted by BG4cricket on (September 19, 2012, 22:05 GMT)

Also had Watson and Starc in my team with Watto as captain so very pleased. Not a bad performance from the Aussies but one which reinforced that Watto, Warner, Starc are the critical players for us to have a chance as the rest look more like bit players. Pleasing though to see White get a few runs under his belt as he could be an X factor at his best.

Posted by Spinner27 on (September 19, 2012, 21:59 GMT)

Overall the Aussie played well, as Bailey said after the game the fielding was sloppy in places and I agree with that, but both Hogg and Starc looked promising and so did Maxwell in his couple of overs. Watson finally fired with his "hit and miss" style, but I think that has to the game format being played, and Cummins bowled short and got what he deserved. Overall the Aussie did what they had to yesterday and that was to get their minds in the right place and get a solid win on the board, to get there confidence up before playing against, I believe a good WI outfit. But with Ireland, they played poorly yesterday, loss key wicket early and the chase stoped and started over and over again. The bowling was poor wide and easy picking for any decent batsmen to send over the rope. Until Ireland start playing the big boys outside of major tournaments, there form will remain inconsistent.

Posted by Rooboy on (September 19, 2012, 21:52 GMT)

Thanks to all the 'experts' predicting Aus would struggle v Ire. Your ignorance and lack of cricketing insight has been noted ...

Posted by Wozza-CY on (September 19, 2012, 21:12 GMT)

Disapointed by the Irish performance, they are better than that. Hopefully they will learn a lot from this game. Ozi plans came off with good opening overs in the bowling & our openers got off to a flyer. Still abit worried about that middle order though.....

Posted by   on (September 19, 2012, 20:52 GMT)

Groups A, B and C are fairly obvious which teams will go through. Its only Group D in the 1st stage which will keep Cricketing fans interested considering New Zealand, Pakistan and Bangladesh can all beat eachother. Ireland were too nervous and just couldn't kept their composure and was their best opportunity to win because they'll have no chance against West Indies which is full of power and strength.

Posted by Buggsy on (September 19, 2012, 20:10 GMT)

@juiceoftheapple, that's not the real front-foot-lunge that posts around here, it's a pretender trying to cause trouble.

Posted by A__J on (September 19, 2012, 19:54 GMT)

Ireland need to solidify their claims at being not a minnow, they need to challenge the bigger teams, play some matches against india, pakistan, new zealand OUTSIDE the world cup, only then will they get better.

Posted by   on (September 19, 2012, 19:07 GMT)

All these are predictable groupd the real fight will be in Group D with PAK,BANG and NZ one better than another.

Posted by Biggus on (September 19, 2012, 18:52 GMT)

@Pappu_bhai-OK, it's a deal! You can keep Jeevan Mendis and we'll keep Watson.

Posted by Sallu_bhai on (September 19, 2012, 17:46 GMT)

Jim Davis.You are wrong here.SL has won the match batting first.So they would have thought if SL can why cant they as they are also as good as lions.Also they would have thought they are playing against a weakened Ausie attack which they can win.As Even england has defeated these ausise recently.and ireland has defeated eNGLAND Very badly in the WC.

Posted by Juiceoftheapple on (September 19, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

@fr0nt-foot_lunge. You state the phrase 'Fellow England fans' twice, and also use the phrase 'pull their head in' and demand an end to the banter with Aus fans. What does 'Pull their Head in' actually mean? never heard that saying before. And the aversion to healthy sports banter, which is something normally enjoyed nearly as much as the cricket between our two nations (and we've had YEARS of it). All of which leads me to think you arent English or are not a real England fan at all, or both.

Posted by Biggus on (September 19, 2012, 16:27 GMT)

@Potatis-Actually mate, our guys started it well and truly. Watson was mouthing off in the first over of the game. When it came to our turn to bat the Irish did give Warner a mouthful which was only a fraction of the rubbish he'd been talking all through their innings. Some may think that's all cool but not me I'm afraid.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 19, 2012, 15:43 GMT)

Watson and Starc both in my Fantasy team for this game! Get in there!

Posted by JimDavis on (September 19, 2012, 15:39 GMT)

Ireland lost this match the moment they chose to bat first. No associate will win a T20 match against a full member nation batting first.

Posted by Pappu_bhai on (September 19, 2012, 15:12 GMT)

I think When match is against Minnows like Ireland,Zimbabe,Afganistan,Bangladesh and SL Watson always Perform and there is nobody better than him and when he faces real challenge like India,SAF,Pakistan Watson always underperforms and there is nobody worse than him. But i still believe Jeevan Mendis is better batter and Bowler than Watson as Mendis at least scores 10 runs against Quality side.

Posted by Heisenburg on (September 19, 2012, 14:59 GMT)

Good old Watson, justifies his place in the team with the ball alone, and more than justifies himself with the bat.

Posted by Pappu_bhai on (September 19, 2012, 14:58 GMT)

Well done Ausise you have done what English cant do.England will be thanking you and you have proved that you are real no-9 above ireland.

Posted by sawifan on (September 19, 2012, 14:23 GMT)

@Hammond... see, that is how u play a game of cricket against Ireland in a World event. Don't people say, 'the longer the game, the greater the gap'?

Posted by   on (September 19, 2012, 14:20 GMT)

@Narbavi - Hilarious! Yes lankans created huge upset by beating zim easily. Aussies too have made an upset. Beating higher ranked Ireland in a crunch game :D

Posted by Deutschdestroyers1 on (September 19, 2012, 14:04 GMT)

Good effort from the Aussies, turned up ready to go. Getting Stirling early is the big key against Ireland, he can rack up good scores quickly. Good start.

Posted by Biggus on (September 19, 2012, 13:53 GMT)

@Charlie101,bouncedout-Undoubtably the recent ranking of the Irish, albeit temporarily, above us added to the aggro but I don't have to like it. It makes us look like bullies and that's not really the way we are.@Mark Le Bhertz-You say there's nothing wrong with it and I have to disagree. We won't agree on appropriate standards so it's best to leave this discussion at that.

Posted by Potatis on (September 19, 2012, 13:52 GMT)

@satish619chandar you have it the wrong way around. The Irish were taunting the Australians, the umpire had to speak to the Irish captain.

Posted by Plz_Dont_Get_Whitewashed on (September 19, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

Australia looks like it's gonna win the World Twenty20 Cup 2012 !!

Posted by disco_bob on (September 19, 2012, 13:42 GMT)

A cacophony of trumpets and the constant clatter of rhythmless drumming, a stadium with but a handful of spectators amidst a sea of emptiness, and a comatose match to boot. If this is supposed to be the showcase event for T20 then it's a definite fail, and the management that can somehow conjure up such a no show of patrons should be ashamed of their incompetence. Would have been nice if Ireland came to the party so that we could get a better look at White and Bailey.

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (September 19, 2012, 13:15 GMT)

I wish fellow England fans will finally learn to pull their head in with regards to Australia. The crowing about Australia's temporary dip in rankings below ireland had fellow England fans chomping at the bit. The gulf between these two teams was evident today and if Aus's middle order form improves, then they may well win the tournament. Finally, I hope, some fellow England fans will learn to keep their mouths shut and not contribute to the widely held perception that we are the worst sports fans in the world.

Posted by Aussie_Cricket on (September 19, 2012, 13:07 GMT)

Nah we don't boast about beating the Irish. We leave that up to the English... when they can.

Actually like the Irish to get good enough to be a test nation (maybe get rid of Bangladesh in tests if they don't pull their socks up) and build up their first class cricket to be somewhat financially viable for their players. Then England only have Scotland the Welsh and the South Africans to steal their players from :)

Posted by nthuq on (September 19, 2012, 13:06 GMT)

Hammond, there is no doubt about the greatness of this Australian team. Truly Watson is the next Garry Sobers and Brad Hogg is the next Shane Warne. Expecting West Indies to wither at the very thought of our presence and coming to us on our knees before our match with them even begins.

Posted by   on (September 19, 2012, 13:02 GMT)

@biggus theres nothing wrong with talking the talk so long as you walk the walk and clearly watson walked the walk today

Posted by bouncedout on (September 19, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

@Biggus, agreed. Pressure does funny things to players though. Particularly so if they are playing a team that many expect them to lose to

Posted by ScottStevo on (September 19, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

As expected an easy win for Australia over a very talented Irish team. Not the start the Irish would be hoping for, but promising signs with K O'Brien looking in decent form.

Posted by Potatis on (September 19, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

There are a lot more boring games like this ahead. T20 produces one-sided contests all the time.

Posted by seniorgators on (September 19, 2012, 12:59 GMT)

Congratulations to RednWhiteArmy with his prediction of a 10 wicket win to Ireland. Ran close to the Guinness Book of Records worst ever cricket result prediction. Mind you that prediction was a bit closer to the truth than most of his other comments! Overall a good opening game for OZ as they did what they needed to do on what was a pretty good wicket. Ireland as always were game but never really in it from the first ball.

Posted by Narbavi on (September 19, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

Now the real tournament has begun, yesterday we saw a huge upset when lanka thrashed zimbabwe but today we are back to business, great win aussies!!

Posted by Charlie101 on (September 19, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

@Biggus - I think it had something to do with the rankings - this was a real crunch game for Australia against a team with a higher ranking so naturally the whole team was under pressure and Watson overeacted. Hammond is quite right there will be alot of Aussie posts.

Posted by elikana on (September 19, 2012, 12:56 GMT)

Hard luck Ireland.Work harder. Can ireland replace Zimbabwe. No i don't see so. They still have a lot to learn than Zim. Australia is an average side.

Posted by realist1 on (September 19, 2012, 12:55 GMT)

Aussies shows the "Mighty" Irish where they belong! Good on ya Watto. Keep dreaming big Irish dudes..

Posted by realist1 on (September 19, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

Yeah! Mighty Irish are awesome! They will beat Aussies easy.. Give them test status, Now!! They are so good..... Yeah, keep on dreaming .. "Mighty" Irish!

Posted by Irelandcricketfan on (September 19, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

And I hate to say it, because I like the big man, but we need to drop Boyd for the next (last) game and play Sorensen instead. I don't know whether his head's in the wrong place given his leaving us, but Sorensen is much more consistent.

Posted by Irelandcricketfan on (September 19, 2012, 12:36 GMT)

Oh dear. We're getting tonked badly. But this rancour between the teams is un-necessary. Give us more games, and we'll do better. We deserve it.

Posted by   on (September 19, 2012, 12:35 GMT)

what will happen if all 3 matchs of any grop is abandoned by rain ??? #wt20

Posted by   on (September 19, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

Seems that Australia weren't a bit pleased about Ireland being ranked above them. They didn't hold back at all. The banter between both was fun to watch though.

Posted by Juiceoftheapple on (September 19, 2012, 12:25 GMT)

What is Watson wearing, surely he's wearing that strip for a bet.

Posted by British_North_America on (September 19, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

Ireland is not worthy of playing in the world cup.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (September 19, 2012, 12:02 GMT)

Pity Eoin Morgan isn't playing for his real team, Ireland - they may have a chance then. The reality is England poached him, pretending it was for 'test cricket' when actually it was about money, then use him as a one day specialist. Ireland needs its best players to progress.

Posted by Mohit_Loveforcricket on (September 19, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

They way Aussies playing.....12 overs and Game Over!!

Posted by satish619chandar on (September 19, 2012, 11:45 GMT)

Isn't it a shame for the Aussies to indulge in war of words with the Irish men? They got a history but to do against an upcoming team takes the shine off your performance on the field. The sad history continues.

Posted by   on (September 19, 2012, 11:45 GMT)

Ireland...not bad performance as an associate member. way better than Zimbabwe.

Posted by seniorgators on (September 19, 2012, 11:37 GMT)

I'm with you Hammond Can't wait for Australia to beat Ireland. We still have to get the runs but you are supremely confident they will get them. Are you an OZ supporter?

Posted by gsingh7 on (September 19, 2012, 11:31 GMT)

australia shows cricket world they r true champs ,, ireland who???

Posted by Hammond on (September 19, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

Good recovery in the end, may have to eat my words...

Posted by Hammond on (September 19, 2012, 10:36 GMT)

Can't wait to read all the Aussie supporters comments, boasting about how they beat Ireland ;)

Posted by --.-- on (September 19, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

Give D. Hussey to India and take Piyush Chawla in return :) !

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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