ICC T20 World Cup 2012: Australia restrict Ireland to 123

Australia players celebrate the fall of an Ireland wicket AFP

By CricketCountry Staff

Colombo: Sep 19, 2012

Australia bowlers put up an inspired performance to restrict Ireland to 123 for seven in 20 overs in their opening encounter of the ICC T20 World Cup 2012 at Colombo on Wednesday.

It was owing to a 52-run fifth wicket partnership between O’Brien brothers — Niall and Kevin — that Ireland managed a total in excess of 120 after they were reeling at 33 for four in the eighth over at the Premadasa Stadium.

Shane Watson was the most successful Aussie bowler with figures of three for 26. More importantly, he dismissed both the O’Brien brothers in one over.

While Kevin scored 35 off 29 balls with five fours, Niall managed 20 off 24 balls with two boundaries after the minnows decided to bat upon winning the toss.

Australia were off to a perfect start when Watson removed Irish opener William Porterfield with a bouncer. The left-handed opener tried the hook shot but the ball ballooned up and Starc standing at deep fine-leg took a simple catch.

Other opener Paul Stirling (7) during his 12-ball stay tried to smash each and every delivery. Finally, he slashed hard at an angular one from Starc but it was Watson this time who decided to return the favour by taking a well-judged catch in the deep third-man region.

Former England international Ed Joyce hit three fours but never looked like being in control of the situation. His frustration got better of him when Glenn Maxwell came to bowl his friendly off-breaks. Joyce couldn’t clear David Warner at mid-off and fell for 16.

With 25 for three even before the sixth over was complete, George Bailey’s boys had complete command over the situation.

Soon it became 33 for four when Gary Wilson was adjudged leg before when he padded a flipper from left-arm spinner Brad Hogg.

The O’Brien brothers, however, managed to revive the situation. While Niall was happy to play the second fiddle, Kevin decided to take on the bowlers.

He started with couple of fours off Hogg. But the stand out shot during his innings was a lovely drive through extra cover region off Dan Christian’s bowling.

When Starc came for his second spell, Kevin launched into the left-arm seamer pulling him for his fourth boundary. The fifth one came when he created room to smash one through the off-side cordon.

The 50-run partnership for the fifth wicket came off 41 deliveries but then Watson struck decisive blows coming in for his second spell.

Niall missed the line of a fuller delivery, while Kevin got one that took off and he only edged it to Mathew Wade behind the stumps.

Suddenly from 85 for four, Ireland were again in trouble at 86 for six. It was Nigel Jones, who chipped in with an unbeaten 14 to take Ireland past 120.(PTI)

Brief Score: Ireland 123 for 7 in 20 overs (Kevin O Brien 35; Shane Watson 3 for 26) vs Australia

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