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Australia beat Ireland by seven wickets at the World Twenty20

Updated: Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012 17:58 | Comments

Shane Watson put in a man of the match performance as Australia eased to victory over Ireland in Sri Lanka
Shane Watson put in a man of the match performance as Australia eased to victory over Ireland in Sri Lanka

Shane Watson's allround performance powered Australia to a straightforward seven-wicket victory over Ireland in their opening Group B match of the Twenty20 World Cup.

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.

Ireland, having elected to bat first, never really recovered since losing their skipper to the first ball but managed to post 123 runs for seven wickets largely because of the 52-run fifth wicket stand between the O'Brien brothers.

Kevin O'Brien was the top scorer for Ireland with 35 runs off 29 balls with five boundaries before being dismissed off a Watson delivery.

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