Ireland v Australia, only ODI
Interesting tour opener with the typical struggles but fabulous Timmy Time.
Punter wins toss, bats first (haha)
Watson, Punter, Clarke all went more or less prematurely as Timmy kept holding the innings together and made a steady 81, later on aided by Cam White's 42. The lower middle order and tail contributed a few trickles. Excellent bowling by the Irish (K. O'Brien, Stirling, Rankin) and tight fielding kept Oz at bay, Punter's decision to bat first didn't bear the fruit he had been hoping for.
During the innings break the groundsman exchanged the low-scoring pitch with a belter and Bollinger, Harris and Klint got kicked across the botany. Harris went for 16 in his first over and got subsequently taken off. Ireland raced to 80-0 within 10.3 overs as eventually the wickets started to tumble. Harris took gutsy Stirling (Middlesex, who was also among the wickets with the best economy out of all Irish bowlers), then added the wicket of Wilson to the collection, before Ritz strode in and removed skipper Porterfield.
From this moment on Oz kept it tight but the Irish still moved onward at a run rate clearly above the required one, until Punter brought Hopes on, who got the breakthrough, followed by Ritz, who claimed the next scalp right away. Ireland tried to delay the inevitable but Hopes made short work of the Leprechauns and bagged a fiver as well as his best ODI figures ever.
After his brutal assault the Irish were 9 down and Punter met the bold decision to send Watson in for a charity wicket. To no avail. Ireland kept clinging to its one life, Mooney shoved his bat up Watto's and Harris' rear. Eventually, eventually, Watto killed the rabid Mooney after a whole lot of antics, incl. 5 overthrows from Punter, and Oz won by 39 runs.
Oz looked a wee bit rusty and there are a few construction sites to take care of, especially in the bowling department, and Punter needs to put a few logs on the fire if he wants to beat England as comprehensively as last year. Timmy played like the single-handed Ford Ranger Cup winner that he is. Thanks and good bye, the cricket starts in a few minutes.