- Sinchan Saha | October 31, 2022 | 8:37 pm
T20 World Cup’22, AUS vs IRE: Australia 179 for 5 (Finch 63, McCarthy 3-29) beat Ireland 137 (Tucker 71*, Maxwell 2-14) by 42 runs
The defending champions’ victory margin will suggest that their campaign is back on track. However, Australia’s performance was less than stellar as they defeated Ireland by 42 runs to join New Zealand at the top of Group 1 with five points. Their net-run rate is still lower than England’s, which may come into play when spots for the semi-finals are chosen.
After being asked to bat, Aaron Finch and Mitchell Marsh’s half-century stand helped Australia recover from a slow start. However, Australia only reached their 100 in the 14th over, despite Ireland’s consistent incisions. After that, Marcus Stoinis and Finch launched an attack on an unlucky Mark Adair, who scored 26 runs in the third over to put Australia within striking distance of 200. Before Ireland came back at the end to keep them under 180, the pair shared 70 runs for the fourth wicket.
Finch scored his highest T20I score since March 2021 and his highest T20 World Cup score since 2014, which is significant for Australia. But in the process, he hurt his hamstring, and he was out of the game starting in the seventh over of Ireland’s response. There will be questions about how quickly Tim David and Stoinis will recover from their injuries. The match against Afghanistan that Australia plays in the next four days.
Matthew Wade led an attack that was strong in the beginning but let up later when Finch was not there. Before Lorcan Tucker and Gareth Delany came together for a sixth-wicket stand of 43, Ireland were 25 for 5. Tucker made sure that Ireland were not bowled out for 104 or less, which would have put Australia’s net run-rate higher than England’s, or dismissed for a record-low score. He made his fifth half-century in a T20I but was eventually left on 71*. The odds of Ireland reaching the semis are slim. They only have one game left, which is on Friday against New Zealand.
Australia’s scratchy start
Against Ireland’s disciplined play, Australia started slowly and needed 14 balls to score their first boundary. David Warner was hesitant in the front, tried to catch a Josh Little pass down the leg, tried to catch an Adair full toss, got it to cover, and then pulled Barry McCarthy straight to short fine leg to leave for three. He has only scored 19 runs in three innings so far in this tournament. After three overs, Australia were 14 for 1 and added 24 runs to make it 38 for 1 at the end of the powerplay before Marsh hit two sixes off Fionn Hand. Marsh looked good at first, but when he tried to cut McCarthy and edged it behind, he didn’t move.The partnership of 52 runs in six overs between Finch and Marsh laid the groundwork for a subsequent strong stand.
Adair’s awful over
Until the end of the fourteenth over, Ireland had mostly kept Australia at bay, keeping the run rate below eight an over. Then something went wrong.Finch and Stoinis sat down when Adair came up to bowl the 15th. Stoinis hit Adair’s first ball hard down the field, lifted him to long-on, where McCarthy made a great save, and then pulled Adair through short perfectly. Under tension, Adair proceeded to convey three progressive wides prior to changing in accordance with the back of a length, which Finch pulled for four. For his first T20I fifty of the tournament, he finished with a full toss that Finch deposited over deep backward square.In that over, Adair bowled 11 balls and scored 26 runs.
Little goes big
Little, a left-handed pitcher who will participate in the SA20 in the southern hemisphere, is the subject of a lot of hype. He performed admirably once more against prominent opponents. He scored in the middle and at the end to keep Australia from completely running away from Ireland after starting with two tight overs that were mostly hard lengths in the powerplay. Little was brought back for the 11th over after his initial burst, where he set up Glenn Maxwell and removed him for 13. Australia went 84 for 3 and didn’t move forward as quickly as they might have liked. He hit the penultimate over, retiring Stoinis and giving up only four runs to go 2 for 21, which was Ireland’s lowest total of the night.
Australia on the attack
When Josh Hazlewood flicked Andy Balbirnie’s off stump, Ireland got away with one, but the bails didn’t fall. However, that was their luckiest moment. Balbirne crossed his stumps in the next over to hit Pat Cummins through fine leg, but he was bowled. Paul Stirling toe-ended Glenn Maxwell to mid-off two balls later. Maxwell got Tector to pull one straight to square leg at the end of that bout. At the other end, Starc took Cummins’ place and blew the Irish middle order out of the water. He bowled almost identical deliveries that swung into Curtis Campher and George Dockrell and beat the edge. Within four overs, Ireland were 25 for 5, and any hope of another upset was almost gone.
Tucker shines alone
Balbirnie has referred to Tucker as the batter who will lead Ireland’s lineup into the future throughout the tournament, and with his team in disarray, he demonstrated why. After the fifth wicket fell, two balls later, he hit Cummins over mid-on for four. He was dismissive of Starc in a similar manner and elaborated on even the smallest errors.
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Tucker became more adventurous as his innings progressed, scoring 16 runs in the fourth over and 11 runs in the third over against Starc. Tucker scored 35 runs off the 18 balls that Starc bowled to him after scooping Starc over Wade, lofting him over the infield, and then over mid-off.