Ireland 123/7 [ K J O’Brien 37 ,NJ O’Brien 20 ,SR Watson 3/ 26 ,MA Starc 2/20] lost to Australia 125/3 [ SR Watson 51 , DA Warner 26 , CL White 22* ] by 7 wickets
Man of the Match SR Watson.
Brilliant performance of dashing Australian all rounder Shane Watson made a very strong statement of the team from down under in its T20 World Cup match against not too weak Ireland. Australia recorded a very comfortable 7 wickets win in a thoroughly one sided encounter. Watson opened both bowling and batting for his team and excelled in both creating a huge difference in quality of both the teams. Only a couple of weeks back Australians were really hurt when ICC Rankings of T20 placed them lower than Ireland . Like wounded like they bounced back in vengeance and looked very sharp and aggressive from the start to prove a point . Australians until recently reigned supreme in all formats of the game but T20 remains the only format where Australia is yet to win the top honor at world stage.
There were lots of pre-match gossip .Aussies clearly were strongly motivated to prove a point .They were rearing to have a strong go and make a very very strong statement .That is why when Ireland opted to bat after winning the toss Watson started with a vicious bouncer against Irish Captain and Opener WTS Porterfield . He hooked and got out skying to Starc in the fine leg. Some bitter verbal were exchanged. Watson and Starc bowled with venom to decimate Irish 4/33 by the 7th over .Any chance of Ireland creating a contest was evaporated by fast and furious Australian bowling and as usual very sharp fielding. Australian dominance was so pronounced that rookie Maxwell and ageing Hogg also chipped in with useful tight spinners .Only O’Briens could resist for a while adding 52 in 43 deliveries But once they were removed Ireland could only post a modest 123/7 in allotted 20 overs . Watson with his sharp pace and bounce took 3/ 26 in four telling overs and teenage prodigy Starc took 2/20 .
Dashing Watson and blaster Warner unleashed major assault on Irish bowlers with flurry of scintillating strokes . 60 runs were knocked off in seven overs before Warner left after scoring 26 in 23 deliveries. Watson was in belligertant mood. He was cutting , pulling and drving merrily
in festive mood .He took only 30 deliveries to score a brilliant 51 with five fours and three towering sixes . Australia went on to win the contest by 7 wickets with 23 balls left .
This Australian team has several youngsters .They have very strong attack, some explosive batsmen and brilliant fielders. They are definitely a strong contender for the top honor. Team has the luxury to even keep brilliant T20 all rounder David Hussey in the dugout.