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Friday, June 18, 2010

Rusty Australia struggle to beat Ireland

Australia 231 for 9 (T Paine 81) beat Ireland 192 (J Hopes 5-14) by 39 runs, one off ODI at Dublin

It should have been a comfortable reintroduction to cricket for the Australians after a few months off, but it didn't quite work out that way, despite the homely atmosphere (when did Ricky Ponting last shave before stepping onto the field?) , the absence of a third umpire, and a beer snake as long as I can recall seeing. There was TV coverage here (Foxtel relayed the Setanta live coverage and showed generous highlights at a civilised hour) so I feel able to offer some comments

While the final margin looked comfortable enough, by ODI standards Ireland didn't just roll over gracefully. Had they not lost 6/19 when they still seemed to have a slight chance the game might have lasted a bit longer but at least there was a last wicket stand with some beer match biffing to give the spectators and the Ireland team some further consolation.

Ireland rely on a few key players: their bowling is quite good, their fielding variable and their batting...OK, check the scorecard.

For Australia Tim Paine's sometimes fluent sometimes laboured 81/122 (5x4, 2x6) underpinned a reasonable if below par total. But it was of course James Hopes' 5/14 from 9 overs which settled the issue (and probably a few Australian stomachs).

The ODI series v England begins in a few days... on the evidence of this match perhaps too soon for Australia's liking. There is work to be done.

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