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Page last updated at 17:01 GMT, Thursday, 17 June 2010 18:01 UK

Ireland squander great chance to beat Australia

One-day international, Clontarf, Dublin:
Australia 231-9 (50 ovs) bt Ireland 192 (42 ovs) by 39 runs
Match scorecard

Gary Wilson and Ricky Ponting
Australian skipper Ricky Ponting gets bat on ball with Irish wicketkeeper Gary Wilson in the background

Ireland squandered a great chance to beat Australia as the world champions clinched a 39-run victory in Dublin.

The Aussies posted only 231-9 with Tim Paine hitting 81 and Paul Stirling and Kevin O'Brien among the wicket takers.

Ireland raced to 49-0 after six overs and were 80 without loss before Ryan Harris bowled Paul Stirling (36).

William Porterfield (39) soon departed and while the hosts regrouped to 137-3, James Hopes (5-14) took the game away from Ireland with a damaging spell.

Ireland collapsed to 156-9, and though John Mooney and Boyd Rankin produced some final-wicket heroics with a stand of 36, Mooney's top edge was coolly gathered by Aussie captain Ricky Ponting off Shane Watson to end the game.

The Irish, who lost the toss, had produced a suffocating bowling display before the capacity 4,500 crowd at Clontarf.

That was even though Aussie native Trent Johnston was unable to bowl for Ireland in the closing stages of the innings because of a bruised thumb.

The rusty Australians struggled to blow the cobwebs away in their first match of a two-month tour that continues with a five-match one-day series against England.

Irish wicketkeeper Gary Wilson
Gary Wilson celebrates after stumping Michael Clarke for a duck

Opening batsmen Paine battled to 81 from 122 balls on a slow-paced wicket.

Kevin O'Brien (3-43) and off-spinner Paul Stirling (2-34) were the stand-out home bowlers, who had been beaten by nine wickets in their only previously completed one-day international against Australia at the 2007 World Cup.

Shane Watson (13) was undone by Rankin's extra bounce as he feathered an angled guide through to wicketkeeper Gary Wilson.

Ponting quickly hit Peter Connell for a pair of fours but the introduction of Kevin O'Brien and off-spinner Stirling slowed Australia's rate after the initial powerplay.

The tourists managed just 29 runs from overs 15 to 25, and the Irish were rewarded with the crucial wickets of Ponting and Michael Clarke in successive overs.

Ponting holed out to Andrew White for 33 as he advanced down the wicket to Stirling while Clarke was stumped by Wilson off Alex Cusack for a duck although it looked a debatable decision.

Paine's stoic presence was temporarily offset by some big hitting from Cameron White before he fell to the economical Stirling, after a mistimed drive to Porterfield at mid-wicket.

The opener finally departed after miscuing Kevin O'Brien to his brother Niall, who had opted not to keep wicket due to a broken finger.

The O'Briens then teamed up to remove Mike Hussey (eight) and Nathan Hauritz (19) as an Australian late rally failed to materialise.

After the match, Australia all-rounder James Hopes admitted his side "got out of jail."

"We hadn't played any one-day cricket for a while, since New Zealand, and we got off to a sluggish start," said the Queenslander who took five wickets for 14 runs.

"Fortunately we brought it back in the middle overs."

Ireland skipper Porterfield said his side had been left disappointed after failing to grasp their chance to beat the world champions.

"We had them right on the back foot. It was ours to lose and we let it slip," he said.

"It is pretty disappointing from the position we were in, especially after the first 10-12 overs."

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see also
Ponting wants end to Irish exodus
16 Jun 10 |  Ireland
Ponting predicts tough Irish test
14 Jun 10 |  Ireland
Uncapped Hazlewood in for Johnson
10 Jun 10 |  Australia
Joyce wants to return for Ireland
24 May 10 |  Ireland
Joyce may return to Ireland duty
19 May 10 |  Ireland
England through after rain drama
04 May 10 |  England
Porterfield rues batting collapse
01 May 10 |  Ireland
Australia in England 2010
04 Jul 10 |  Cricket

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