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Ireland beaten by Australia
27 Aug 2015 22:10
Australia defeated a spirited Ireland in their first one-day international since winning the World Cup.
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On a rain-affected day in Belfast, Steve Smith started life as Michael Clarke's successor with a 23-run success on Duckworth/Lewis.
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Smith opted to bat first and a century opening stand between David Warner (84) and debutant Joe Burns (69) helped them to post 222 for six in the 40.2 overs that were possible.
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Ireland's eventual target after rain delays was 181 in 24 overs but they were dismissed for 157 as Nathan Coulter-Nile claimed three for 13.
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Man-of-the-match Warner and his new partner Burns put on 139 in a dominant onslaught, scoring at 6.36 runs an over before Craig Young dismissed the latter.
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Australia never quite enjoyed the same comfort thereafter, Tim Murtagh nipping out Warner and George Bailey, with Andy McBrine adding Glenn Maxwell as the momentum slipped.
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Shane Watson, not seen since the first Ashes Test, finished 26 not out at better than a run per ball.
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Ireland, initially chasing 195 in 27 overs, lost openers Paul Stirling and William Porterfield inside two overs before a gutsy third-wicket fightback.
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Veterans Ed Joyce (44) and Niall O'Brien (45) put on 86 in just 12.4 overs, but neither man could go on.
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Maxwell's off-spin was expensive but accounted for both top scorers.
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Only Stuart Thompson backed the pair up with a score above 20 as Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins each took two wickets.
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Coulter-Nile returned at the death to end things early with the last two scalps.
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