Ireland’s inexperienced batting succumbed to the pace and fury of Australia’s hostile opening attack as both McGrath and Tait terrorized the batsmen on a dreadful Friday the 13th. By midway through the eleventh over Ireland lost half of their side for just 32 runs on the board and the game became a mere formality after that. Ireland, who had not yet encountered a bowling combination like that of McGrath and Tait, that too on a pitch which would have made any average pace bowler as lethal and menacing, continued their innings for 20 more overs and almost tripled the score to 91 . Only three of their batsmen Kevin O’Brien (16), Trent Johnson (17) and John Mooney (23) reaching double figures along with 16 extras.
Only negative of the game that Ricky Ponting can point out to his team and ask them for improvement is the number of wides they conceded. Shaun Tait was the main culprit by bowling 9 of the 15 wides. McGrath’s analysis of 7-1-17-3 fetched him the Man of the Match award where as Shaun Tait was lot more expensive in claiming same number of wickets, 3 for 39 of six overs. Stuart Clark, Brad Hogg & Andrew Symonds each chipped in with a wicket.
Australia knocked of the 92 runs required for a victory before the scheduled lunch time. Gilchrist batted the only way he could and made 34 of 25 balls before getting out for 34, also the only way he could getting clean bowled by right hand medium pace bowler bowling round the wicket. The only Australian wicket that fell in the match must have made the day for the Irish fans present at the ground as Trent Johnson engaged himself in his now famous and customary chicken dance after Gilchrist lost his stumps.
Michael Hussey and Andrew Symonds who were promoted in batting order to get some batting practice made 30 of 41 balls and 15 of 9 balls respectively. They finished-off the game in a hurry and reached the target by the second delivery of the 13th over. Obviously they must have felt getting into the nets and practicing against their own bowlers might be a better option than staying at the wicket for longer time against the mediocre Irish attack.
Australia thus becomes the first team in this tournament to seal their place in the Semis. Other contenders still need some catching-up to do before they can reach there and a lot more after to advance beyond the last four if they have to face the thunder from down under.
Today’s ‘Quiztion of the Day’ is about another World Cup match, which too had like in this game against Ireland, five Aussie bowlers sharing nine wickets including three each by two of their fast bowlers and one wicket falling to a run-out. Here it is:
In one of the World Cup matches all the five Aussie bowlers who bowled in the innings shared the nine wickets that fell. They bowled out the opposition for a reasonable total but faltered while chasing and lost the game in the end.