Australia vs Ireland
End of innings
Well, there were a couple of hiccups along the way but Australia have ultimately negotiated a potentially tricky encounter with ease. In truth, the Australians had just about everything their own way from the very first delivery, when Shane Watson removed Ireland captain Will Porterfield. Though the O'Brien brothers put together a 52-run stand to keep the innings afloat, 120-odd was never going to unduly bother the Aussies. Watson capped a great all-round day with a boundary-laden 51, earning the Man of the Match award, and Australia cantered home with just under five overs to spare. Both teams now face the West Indies - Australia on Saturday, and Ireland on Monday. I do hope you've enjoyed our commentary, and don't forget that you can also follow India's match against Afghanistan right here.
Over 16 - Aus 125/3 (White 22, Bailey 6)
There's the game! White brings proceedings to a close to a lofted chip to the wide long-on boundary off Dockrell.
Over 15 - Aus 121/3 (White 18, Bailey 6)
White takes Australia to the brink with a brace of boundaries, both of which come courtesy of powerful pulls into the leg side. With three needed, Bailey attempts to end the match with a big hit, but misses a very slow offcutter completely, the ball shaving past the off stump.
Over 14 - Aus 110/3 (White 7, Bailey 6)
Last throw of the dice, one feels, as Porterfield perseveres with Rankin. He can't force the breakthrough, and with no scoreboard pressure both Bailey and White appear at ease. Indeed, Bailey ends the over with a cracking pull that takes the required runs down to 14 from 36 balls.
"Just want to know what happened to Trent Copeland, it was said that he is the next best thing after Glen McGrath?" asks Nellis Josephs. Copeland had the height of McGrath, and swung the ball too, but he pinged them down at barely 120kph at the best of times. He last played a Test in this very city, Colombo, but at the SSC, in September last year. He never had the pace for international cricket, and after Tim Nielsen's departure from the coaching position, he hasn't got close to the team. He's been taken over by Starc, Cummins et al now.
Over 13 - Aus 103/3 (White 7, Bailey 1)
Kevin O'Brien bustles through another over of medium pace, and keeps the big-hitting White quiet with changes of pace and length. Just the three runs from the over. You can, by the way, find my cricket-related waffle on Twitter. Gomorezvidinha is my handle.
Over 12 - Aus 100/3 (White 4, Bailey 1)
Big Boyd Rankin comes back into the attack after the wickets, and almost forces another breakthrough! Rankin hurried White with pace and bounce, and a front-foot pull looped to the right of Johnston at mid-on ... The fielder defies his 38 years to leap into the air and get a paw to it, but he can't hold on! It would have been an amazing catch.
Over 11 - Aus 95/3 (White 1, Bailey 0)
WICKETS! Watson dabs to short third man and is called through by Hussey. Watto's puffed after his efforts with bat and ball and dawdles through the run ... Johnston picks the right end to throw at and pings the non-striker's stumps with the batsman just short. The wicket, which has come in Kevin O'Brien's first over of medium pace, brings Cameron "Bear" White to the crease. He's a big 'un. But wait, what's this? O'Brien strikes Hussey on the front pad with his final delivery, and the Umpire sends Mr. Cricket on his way! Ireland don't really have a chance here, but they're putting up a really good fight.
Over 10 - Aus 91/1 (Watson 51, Hussey 7)
Shane Watson is doing his best to bring this match to a swift denouement. He moves through the 40s with a flat-batted swipe down the ground, and brings up his fifty with a monstrous mow into the second tier of the stands beyond long on. It's taken him just 28 deliveries.
Over 9 - Aus 77/1 (Watson 40, Hussey 4)
Porterfield employs Stirling's offbreaks, and there's a chance created as Watson bunts one in the air back towards the bowler ... but it's dropped! Stirling went at it one-handed, and got something on it but couldn't hold on. Watto then brings the pain down on the Irish in style, thwacking a powerful sweep to deep backward square and then shellacking a pull over the deep midwicket boundary. Thirteen runs from the over.
Over 8 - Aus 64/1 (Watson 29, Hussey 2)
WICKET! Dockrell strikes as an overenthusiastic Warner lifts him out into the leg side ... and into Kevin O'Brien's bucket-like hands. The KOB takes a good catch on the run, and Ireland celebrate the breakthrough. As the Afghanistan cricket team, who play India in the second match of the day, look on from the boundary, Dockrell beats Mike Hussey's outside edge, prompting Porterfield to bring a slip in. An edge isn't forthcoming, but a wicket and just four runs make it a good over for Ireland.
Over 7 - Aus 60/0 (Watson 27, Warner 26)
Warner goes past the 1000-run mark in T20Is with a flick to the square leg boundary. The only other players to have passed that mark are New Zealand's Brendon McCullum, and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named from England. Seven runs from Cusack's second over takes the required run rate under five.
Over 6 - Aus 53/0 (Watson 26, Warner 20)
Warner greets Dockrell's appearance with a cover drive that bristles with controlled aggression. His shot has the beating of a diving extra cover fielder, and after the boundary both batsmen are content to nudge the ball around.
Over 5 - Aus 44/0 (Watson 25, Warner 12)
Cusack's medium-paced dobblers are brought on, and Wilson - who's keeping wicket today - comes up to the stumps. That brings him and Warner into close proximity, and they immediately get to squabbling like a couple of junkyard dogs. Growls and bristling hackles. Watto joins in, but the flare-up is brief. Amid the handbags, Cusack sneaks in a quiet little over. He'll be glad Wilson's taken the heat off him after what happened to Johnston in the last over. Just four runs from the over, but Australia are still motoring along at well over eight an over.
Over 4 - Aus 40/0 (Watson 24, Warner 11)
Ireland are leaking boundaries all over the place now, and a whopping 19 runs come from the over. Johnston was very tight in his first over, but tries to do a little too much in his second and is punished. Warner latches onto a full, wide delivery to start the rot. Johnston then asks a question of Watto with a bouncer, and receives a swift answer as he clatters a pull down to long leg. Another full ball is dismissed imperiously over the off side, and the carnage is complete as Watson picks the last ball up and over square leg for the first six of the innings.
Over 3 - Aus 21/0 (Watson 10, Warner 6)
A swirling leading edge just evades mid-on! Watson was far too early into the shot against Rankin, the ball stopping on him, but he got enough on it to beat the fielder. Ireland are buzzing in the field, an early wicket will really lift them. Rankin rattles Watto's splice with a brutal lifter, but his good deliveries are interspersed with no less than three wides, and 12 runs come from the over.
Over 2 - Aus 9/0 (Warner 5, Watson 3)
Watto dished out the verbals when he was bowling, and now both he and Warner are getting it back in spades. The umpires have had a word with Ireland captain Porterfield. Johnston opens from the opposite end, with one wide slip in place, and the veteran keeps things tight with a strict line and length in his first over. Just three runs from it.
Over 1 - Aus 6/0 (Warner 5, Watson 1)
Wow, there's some real needle out there. Aleem Dar's had to step in and cool things off between Gary Wilson and David Warner in the very first over. Not too sure who the instigator was ... Niall O'Brien's also involved himself. Warner responds with a short-arm jab that isn't timed but has enough on it to clear mid-on, sparking yet another volley of verbiage from the gallery behind him
End of innings
Ireland will be disappointed at their total, but it does at least give their bowlers something to try and defend. Their day got off to a disastrous start, as they lost their captain Will Porterfield first ball, and it took an age for the innings to get up and running as wickets fell regularly. A fifty run stand between the O'Brien brothers stabilised things, and all hope is not lost for the underdogs. This did look like a very good batting track, however, and Australia shouldn't be unduly tested. Shouldn't be ...
Over 20 - Ire 123/7 (Jones 14, Cusack 15)
Jones ends the innings with a flourish! Watto thought he'd be able to get past the lower order bat with a cheeky slower ball bouncer, but Jones was deep in his crease and waiting for it, sending the ball over deep square leg for the first six of the innings. A flustered Watto brushes his (admittedly rather luscious) hair out of his face and fires down a wide outside off, but then recovers well to deny the Irish another boundary in the over.
Over 19 - Ire 111/7 (Cusack 12, Jones 6)
There's plenty of heaving from both batsmen as Cummins comes back into the attack to finish his spell, but neither man can find the boundary. Just five runs come from the over. Ireland can still reach 120 if they push, which will be something of an achievement given the day they've had.
Over 18 - Ire 106/7 (Cusack 9, Jones 4)
WICKET! Johnston's enterprising innings comes to a quick end as a Starc yorker zips under his bat to disturb the stumps. An Aussie is swapped for a Kiwi, as bowling allrounder Nigel Jones comes out to bat. I wonder if the Australians, the actual ones, will give him some stick out there? There doesn't seem to be any chirp, but his technique is tested by Starc, who fires in a sharp yorker. The Irish innings is coming to a stuttering end.
Over 17 - Ire 101/6 (Johnston 7, Cusack 8)
Damien Fleming, on the tv commentary, has a sly dig at the Australian-born Alex Cusack, calling him "more of a grade player", but he looks a decent bat as he steps away to spank Cummins to the extra cover boundary. Trent Johnston, a contemporary of Brett Lee's in Australian cricket back in the 90s, then adds another boundary with an extraordinarily cheeky, Brendan Taylor-esque ramp cut over the keeper's head. They don't know when they're beat, these Irish.
Over 16 - Ire 91/6 (Johnston 3, Cusack 3)
Hogg's sweating profusely but finds the strength to creak through another fine over of fizzing left-arm wristspin. He must be relishing bowling to the new batsmen, who are content to tap him around for ones and twos. Hogg finishes with the figures of 1 for 22 from four overs. He'll play till he's fifty if they let him.
Over 15 - Ire 86/6
WICKET! Watto's only gone and broken the partnership! Gosh, he doesn't look that threatening at all, but he's removed both O'Brien brothers in the space of four deliveries. Niall had taken their partnership to 50 with an outside edge that bounced on the sandy outfield in front of Wade, bouncing up and nearly decapitating the keeper. He then tried a slog sweep to a legcutter, but had his timber rattled. Watson then sent down a quick bouncer at Kevin, the right-hander ramping it straight into Wade's gloves. That'll really put a dent in the Irish hopes.
Over 14 - Ire 81/4 (K O'Brien 35, N O'Brien 16)
Kevin O'Brien is leading Ireland's fightback now. Starc comes back into the attack, and a short ball is smeared to deep midwicket with alacrity. Niall follows his brother's lead, using his feet to the fast bowler and swinging hard, but it's Kevin who finds the second boundary in the over as he steps away and biffs a bottom-handed drive over extra cover like a latter day Brian Boru. The partnership's now 48, and KOB's cruised to a 27-ball 35.
Over 13 - Ire 69/4 (K O'Brien 26, N O'Brien 14)
A chipped drive bursts through Dan Christian's fingers, and the bowler is left to rue the (albeit very hard) missed chance as KOB's burly forearms send the next delivery racing to the extra cover boundary. Christian responds by pulling his length back a touch and is joined by Warner in giving the batsman a friendly chirp. Perhaps they're discussing the weather? It must be very warm indeed, everyone's sweating buckets out there. KOB suggests that he's had enough of the chat, and Umpire Dharmasena steps in to cool everyone down. Unfortunately, not with a hosepipe or an icebucket.
Over 12 - Ire 62/4 (K O'Brien 19, N O'Brien 14)
Kevin O'Brien finds his first boundary off Hogg, but he can count himself very lucky. He'd been completely flummoxed by a Hogg wrong 'un, but there's no slip in place and a flashing edge runs down to third man. His second boundary is a little more authoritative, Hogg losing his length and KOB stepping back to punch firmly through cover point. Nine runs from the over, and Ireland are starting to tick now.
Over 11 - Ire 53/4 (N O'Brien 14, K O'Brien 10)
It seems a little wrong to class both Maxwell and Hogg as spinners ... Hogg's a cut above Maxwell's straightbreaks, and Niall O'Brien opts to attack the offie with a powerful sweep shot that deep square leg can only parry over the boundary. That's a little more like it, and takes the O'Brien partnership to 20.
Over 10 - Ire 46/4 (N O'Brien 9, K O'Brien 8)
Hogg, more than twice the age of the youngest member of his team at 41 years and 226 days, hustles through another very tricksy over. He uses the wrong 'un to good effect, keeping the batsmen guessing, and gives away just five runs. Both O'Briens use the sweep to good effect, but neither can find the boundary and the innings continues to meander.
Over 9 - Ire 41/4 (N O'Brien 7, K O'Brien 5)
Watto comes back, and there's the first hint of misbehaviour from the pitch as one scuttles through low and Kevin O'Brien has to jab down quickly in defence. Watson generally keeps the ball a little short of a length, and out of KOB's hitting arc, and there's even a hint of an appeal as a bouncer shoots past KOB's grille. Watto reckons there's something on it, and gives KOB a fearsome ear-bashing when it's given not out.
Over 8 - Ire 37/4 (N O'Brien 6, K O'Brien 1)
WICKET! The evergreen Brad Hogg is into the attack, and removes Wilson lbw to spark a fist-pumping celebration. Doesn't he love it. The wicket immediately sets his tongue a-wagging, and the aging revenant bustles through a very impressive first over. Some spin, some drift and plenty of guile. The wicket unites the O'Brien brothers at the crease, Kevin entering and getting off the mark with an uncharacteristically gentle nudge into the covers.
Over 7 - Ire 33/3 (Wilson 5, O'Brien 4)
Dan Christian is into the attack, with the field spread. Though he's only bowling a brisk medium pace, he finds pace and carry off the track, beating Wilson's outside edge with a lifter outside off and then hurrying his pull shot with a nippy bouncer. The gaps in the field do allow a couple of singles, but the Irish innings continues to stultify. Bring on the mighty KOB!
Over 6 - Ire 29/3 (Wilson 4, O'Brien 1)
WICKET! Bailey brings Maxwell's somewhat nondescript offspinners into the attack, and is quickly rewarded with Joyce's wicket. There's precious little in the way of turn for the finger spinner, but he varies his pace nicely and finds some drift through the air to the left-hander. Joyce was starting to settle in nicely, but a limp lofted off drive lands right in mid-off's lap. Gary Wilson, who's coming off a successful season with Surrey, walks to the crease and eases off the mark with a checked cover drive for four. Confident stuff. Ireland need a little more of that.
Over 5 - Ire 24/2 (Stirling 16, O'Brien 0)
Joyce is starting to flow nicely now. He finds his second boundary with a neat drive into the on side, mid on diving over the ball, and his third with a cracking pull to wide long on. Those two deliveries, one too full, the other too short, are Cummins' only lapses in the over, as there are also four dot balls.
Over 4 - Ire 16/2 (Joyce 8, O'Brien 0)
WICKET! Stirling was starting to look a little fidgety at the dawdling run rate, and tried to break free with a slash outside off. Starc's pace and bounce mean the shot is top edged, and Watson holds a simple chance down at third man. Watto sets off in whooping celebration down by the boundary, while a disconsolate Stirling trudges off. Sensing the danger of a collapse, Niall O'Brien leaves his first two deliveries well alone. Both wickets have fallen to catches behind square - fine leg and third man. This must be a pretty quick, bouncy track.
Over 3 - Ire 13/1 (Stirling 7, Joyce 6)
Bailey swaps Watson for Cummins, the young quick bowling with good pace but keeping the ball nice and full. Joyce has his first boundary with an elegant flick to long leg, where Maxwell charges along the boundary and slides past the ball, his arm in contact with the ball as he attempts to recover and stop the four. Bailey keeps two slips in for the over, though they're not needed in what already looks like a good batting track. Ireland need to start getting a move on now.
Over 2 - Ire 6/1 (Joyce 1, Stirling 5)
A much less frenetic second over, with Starc loping to the crease and finding swing and bounce off the Premadasa pitch. He moves the ball in to Stirling's pads, and away from Joyce's outside edge, and both batsmen are happy to just have a look and play with circumspection.
Over 1 - Ire 4/1 (Joyce 0, Stirling 4)
Two slips in place as Watson gets first use of the new ball, succeeding with his very first delivery. WICKET! The bounce gets big on Porterfield, who follows through with the pull regardless - and holes out at fine-leg. Comfortable catch for Starc. Zimbabwe lost their captain to a first-ball duck yesterday, and never recovered. Joyce in now, watching from the other end as Stirling nearly perishes at midwicket before asserting his authority with a boundary banged over cover.
Here We Go
With the fanfare, national anthems, handshakes and other such pleasantries over, umpires Aleem Dar and Kumar Dharmasena, opening batsmen Porterfield and Stirling and the Australian XI out to the middle for the start of play. Game on.
Pseudo pitch pundit Damien Fleming surveys the playing surface and finds a thin layer of grass, which should suit the seamers initially, of course. It will prove progressively lower and slower throughout proceedings, though, with the spinners set to have a big say. Weather-wise, it's partly cloudy - and temperatures are exceeding 30 degrees Celsius. The odd thundershower has been predicted too. The crowd is small, but we will certainly see a bigger one for the second half of today's double-header later, when India clash with Afghanistan. Meanwhile, your opinions welcome here: firstname.lastname@example.org
William Porterfield (captain), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O'Brien, Gary Wilson (wicketkeeper), Kevin O'Brien, Trent Johnston, George Dockrell, Nigel Jones, Boyd Rankin, Alex Cusack.
Shane Watson, David Warner, Mike Hussey, George Bailey (captain), Cameron White, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), Glenn Maxwell, Dan Christian, Brad Hogg, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc.
No David Hussey, Xavier Doherty, Clint McKay or Ben Hilfenhaus in Australia's XI, while the Irish have excluded Andrew White, Max Sorensen Stuart Thompson and Tim Murtagh.
This just in: William Porterfield triumphs in the flip of the coin and Ireland will bat first.
Oscar Samson is incensed by Australia's selection, which has seen David Hussey take a backseat to the talent of Glenn Maxwell lately: "This move of dropping Hussey is going to backfire. A team can't just drop a player of his experience, no matter how much 'x-factor' Maxwell professes to have. I await Hussey's return at the expense of Maxwell."
We've got our first bit of opinion for the day. James McGintston, and Irishman if ever there was one, "really hopes this inside knowledge that bowling coach Craig McDermott brings to the party pays off for the Irish. One loss and we are pretty much out of the competition. Now is the time of the reckoning, so let's do this," insists McGinston.
Hello and welcome to our over-by-over commentary of the World Twenty20 Group B fixture between Australia and Ireland at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
- 19th Sep 2012
- Ireland won the toss and elected to bat.
- R. Premadasa Stadium
- A S Dar and H D P K Dharmasena
australia BATTING CARD
|Warner||c O'Brien b Dockrell||26|
|Hussey||lbw b O'Brien||10|
|Total||15.1 Overs||125 - 3|