A strong team bowling performance followed by a pair of key hands from Beth Mooney and Meg Lanning gave Australia a nine-wicket win over Ireland in the second game of the T20I Tri-Series in Bready.

After the first game of the series, between Australia and Pakistan, had been unable to reach a result due to rain, the second fixture arrived with the weather set fair.

Australia, reigning world champions in both ODI and T20 cricket, won the toss and elected to bowl first, and immediately set about their work, Gaby Lewis hitting Megan Schutt to deep midwicket for a duck in the first over.

Orla Prendergast's stay at the crease was short but sweet, with two sumptuously driven boundaries off Tahlia McGrath the highlights of her innings. She was one of two wickets to fall in Darcie Brown’s second over, Prendergast and captain Laura Delany both bowled as Brown showcased her electric pace.

Rebecca Stokell, having opened the innings, had just three runs off seven balls to her name at that point, having watched three wickets fall from the non-striker’s end. She took it upon herself to up the ante, driving and cutting Schutt for a pair of boundaries in consecutive balls, guiding Ireland to 26-3 by the end of the powerplay.

Alana King, fresh off taking three wickets in her only over against Pakistan, was soon into the action, and took only four balls to strike, Rachel Delaney pinned lbw. Mary Waldron resisted for a time, ticking over the strike for seven, but when she and Stokell both fell with the score on 44, Ireland were in danger of subsiding with plenty of balls to spare.

As it was, a trio of useful lower-order hands from Arlene Kelly, Leah Paul and Ava Canning ensured Ireland batted their overs and set Australia a three-figure target. While Kelly only made five before hitting Brown to mid-off, she and Paul put on 25, the largest stand of the innings. Paul contributed 12 before edging a sweep off King behind and Canning, who had only faced one delivery in T20Is before today, added an unbeaten 14. King finished with figures of 3-9, claiming the Player of the Match award and taking her series tally to 6-17 from five overs.

In reply, Ireland fought hard but ultimately succumbed to the strength of Australia’s top-order. Mooney was the early aggressor, hitting Canning for consecutive fours in the second over and swinging the only six of the day off Jane Maguire in the third.

When Healy, becalmed at first, pulled Delaney for four, Ireland may have feared a mammoth opening stand. But Kelly’s introduction brought about the end of the wicketkeeper’s knock, enticing her to hit to Maguire at mid-off. The opening bowler, having seen a chance go down off her own bowling earlier on, completed a fine catch.

That dismissal saw Lanning enter, with the Australia captain constructing the game’s defining stand with Mooney. There was little overt aggression, but the pair found a way to score off virtually every ball while also striking regular boundaries. Between the end of the fifth and the start of the 12th over, the pair faced just seven dot balls between them, and used their feet, drove and swept well to find the fence.

Their stand would finish unbroken, with five wides from Maguire confirming a nine-wicket victory with more than seven overs to spare. The series will continue at the same venue on Tuesday, 19 July, when Ireland take on Pakistan with both sides searching for their first win.