BRISBANE [AUSTRALIA]: A calculated half-century from captain Aaron Finch and his quickfire partnership with all-rounder Marcus Stoinis powered Australia to a competitive 179/5 in their 20 overs against Ireland in their Group 1, Super 12 match of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup in Brisbane on Monday.
Finch (63) and Stoinis (35) had a 70-run stand for the fourth wicket after the Aussies were left at 84/3 in the second half of the innings. Barry McCarthy (3/29) was the star of the bowlers for Irish.
Put to bat first by Ireland, Australia was off to a tricky start as they lost opener David Warner for 3 off 7 to Barry McCarthy after the batter pulled it straight to Mark Adair at backward square leg. Australia was 8/1 in 2.1 overs.
Following this early hiccup, captain Aaron Finch was joined by Mitchell Marsh. Marsh took on confident Irish bowlers head on, starting with a four in the leg side region on his first ball. Finch also started to switch gears in the fifth over, smashing a four and six.
This over by Adair gave away 14 runs. At the end of the powerplay in six overs, Australia was at 38/1, with Finch (23*) and Marsh (11*). Fionna Hand was smashed for two sixes by Marsh in the seventh over. The 50-run stand between the duo was formed in just 36 balls and Aussies were slowly taking control of the match.
The 52-run stand between the duo was over when Marsh nicked the ball straight into keeper Lorcan Tucker's hands in the eighth over. Marsh was back in the hut for 28 off 22 balls and McCarthy got his second wicket of the match.
Glenn Maxwell joined Finch on crease. He survived some leg before wicket attempts and smacked a huge straight six to end the first half of the innings. At the end of 10 overs, Australia was at 78/2, with Maxwell (13*) and Finch (29*).
After being bludgeoned by Finch for a four through the covers, pacer Joshua Little bounced back to produce a breakthrough to dismiss Maxwell for 13 off 9 balls, after he was caught by Tucker.
Marcus Stoinis was next up on the crease and it was time for him and Finch to go hard in the second half to put up a big total on the board. The 14th and 15th over in particular, brought a lot of runs for Australia. The defending champions crossed the 100-run mark in 13.4 overs. The 14th over brought 16 runs.
In the 15th over, Adair was thrashed for 26 runs, including three fours and a six. Adair also bowled five wide balls. Finch reached his half-century in 38 balls. At the end of 15 overs, Australia was at 134/3, with Finch (50*) and Stoinis (27*).
The explosive 70-run stand between Stoinis and Finch was broken by McCarthy, with assistance from Adair who had been thrashed earlier. Finch was back in the hut for 63 off 44 balls. McCarthy got his third wicket of the match. Australia was at 154/4 in 16.5 overs.
Tim David was next up on crease. Stoinis was the fifth man down as he was dismissed by Little for 35 off 25 balls. Half of the Australian batting was back in the hut by 160 runs.
Matthew Wade was next up on the crease. In the 18th and 19th over, Ireland gave away only seven runs and brought themselves back in the game a bit. Australia ended their innings at 179/5, with Wade (7*) and David (15*) unbeaten. McCarthy (3/29) was the leading bowler for Ireland. Little also took 2/21.
Brief Scores: Australia: 179/5 in 20 overs (Aaron Finch 63, Marcus Stoinis 35, Barry McCarthy 3/29).