|Scorecard:||Australia v Ireland|
|Event:||ICC World Twenty20 2012/13|
DateLine: 20th September 2012
2012 ICC World Twenty20
Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe
Australian squad must be delighted after a clinical performance in their opening fixture of the ICC World T20 2012 against Ireland and it reflects that they had a point to prove too. Shane Watson's 51 as an opener and 3 for 26 with the ball helped Australia to a comprehensive seven-wicket win on Wednesday.
Porterfield won the toss and elected to bat first but he failed as an opening batsman to a first-ball duck. He tried to hook a bouncer but ended up only top-edging the ball for a comfortable catch to Mitchell Starc at deep fine-leg. Watson and Starc were involved again in the dismissal of Paul Stirling when Ireland's total was 15 as the batsman sliced the ball by the left-arm seamer, and was well caught by Watson at third man.
Ed Joyce tried to lift the ball over the infield against off-spinner Glenn Maxwell but found David Warner at mid-off on 16. Left-arm chinaman bowler Brad Hogg, broke through in his second delivery trapping Gary Wilson lbw for 5 in the eighth over. At 33 for 4, Ireland were precariously placed, then brothers Kevin (35) and Niall O'Brien (20) combined for 52 to help put up a decent total. Kevin hit five boundaries during his 29-ball innings and Niall made 20 off 24 balls before Watson dismissed both in the 15th over, bowling Niall and, three balls later, having Kevin caught by wicketkeeper Mathew Wade. The two dismissals in the same over definitely put breaks on the run flow and the tail only managed to add 37 more.
Chasing a modest target of 124, the Aussies romped home in only 15.1 overs with the opening duo of Watson (51) and David Warner (26) having set the tone by adding 60 runs in the first seven overs in the opening Group B encounter. Aussies, after their T20 series loss against Pakistan in United Arab Emirates (UAE) earlier this month, had slipped down to the 9th position in the ICC T20 Ranking, just above Ireland. However, Watson believes that by thrashing the minnows by a handsome margin, Australia have proved that they are a major force in the game’s shortest format as well.
Shane Watson said, "We knew how important the game was to make a statement. I'd been thinking about how to bowl the first over for about a day and it worked out nicely. It's been nice to hit the ball well over the last few weeks". He was also named as the Player of the Match for this outstanding performance. George Bailey, the Australian skipper, is all praise for the all-rounder, who is one of the most important cogs in his line-up.
The pitch in Colombo had some pace and bounce for the fast bowlers but the Aussie captain is of the opinion that the track will start to assist the spinners as the tournament progresses.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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