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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Watson powers Australia to easy win over Ireland

Watson powers Australia to easy win over Ireland

Last updated on: September 19, 2012 19:02 IST

Shane Watson's all-round performance powered Australia to an easy seven-wicket victory over Ireland in their opening Group B match of the Twenty20 World Cup on Wednesday.

- Scorecard

Opening the bowling, Watson claimed three wickets for 26 and returned to hammer a 30-ball 51 as Australia chased down the 124-run victory target with 29 balls to spare.

Watson removed Irish captain William Porterfield with the first ball of the match and later broke a dangerously-looking fifth wicket partnership between the O'Brien brothers, Niall (20) and Kevin.

Earlier, Australia kept Ireland batsmen under tight leash restricting them to 123 for seven.

Riding on a 52-run fifth wicket partnership between O'Brien brothers -- Niall and Kevin -- Ireland managed to cross 120-run mark after they were reeling at 33 for four at one time.

Shane Watson was the most successful Aussie bowler with figures of three for 26. More importantly, he dismissed both the O'Brien brothers in one over.

Shane WatsonWhile Kevin scored 35 off 29 balls with five fours, Niall managed 20 off 24 balls with two boundaries after the minnows decided to bat upon winning the toss.

Australia were off to a perfect start when Watson removed Irish opener William Porterfield with a bouncer. The left-handed opener tried the hook shot but the ball ballooned up and Starc standing at deep fine-leg took a simple catch.

Other opener Paul Stirling (7) during his 12-ball stay tried to smash each and every delivery. Finally, he slashed hard at an angular one from Starc but it was Watson this time who decided to return the favour by taking a well-judged catch in the deep third-man region.

Ed Joyce hit three fours but never looked like being in control of the situation. His frustration got better of him when Glenn Maxwell came to bowl his friendly off-breaks.

With 25 for three even before the sixth over was complete, George Bailey's boys had complete command over the situation.

Soon it became 33 for four when Gary Wilson was adjudged leg before when he padded a flipper from left-arm spinner Brad Hogg.

The O'Brien brothers, however, managed to revive the situation. While Niall was happy to play the second fiddle, Kevin decided to take on the bowlers.

Photograph: Philip Brown/Reuters 

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