Australia put their Twenty20 World Cup defense on track with a 42-run win over Ireland at the Gabba in Brisbane on Monday.
Trailing Australia’s 179-5, Ireland scored 137 from 19 overs to pull ahead of Group 1 leaders New Zealand.
Ireland had outside hopes of reaching the semi-finals before the game, but were blown away at first by the pace and inswing of Mitchell Stark, then by the pressure of chasing a 180 to win .
They slipped to 25-5, giving the World Cup hosts a comfortable victory despite Lorcan Tucker’s impressive 71 win in an undefeated streak.
Earlier, Aaron Finch has been back in form with 63 of 44 pitches to answer a growing number of critics who had called for him to resign as Australian captain for a bad run with the bat. I got
Finch persevered when Australia lost their first three wickets in tight Irish bowling.
He then took advantage and shot 35 off 25 balls when the Irish attack began to falter under the pressure of an onslaught from Finch and Marcus Stoinis.
Ireland started the run chase vigorously but suffered a heavy loss as their captain Andy Barberney was bowled for six off the last ball of two overs by Pat Cummins.
He was followed right behind by the dangerous Paul Sterling, who was caught for 11 by Cummins at mid-off for part-time spinner Glenn Maxwell.
Maxwell then caught Harry Tector in a square leg against Ireland on the 24th and the game was over a run when Stark bowled Curtis Camphor cleanly with a duck.
Starc were bowling at real pace, but attacked again with another beautiful inswinger to account for George Dockrell, staggering Ireland 25–5.
Tucker and Gareth Delaney provided a slight recovery until Delaney skied Maxwell in an attempt to belt Stoinis at six.
In third place, Tucker played one hand and racked up 71 of 48 deliveries before running out of partners.