MELBOURNE, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Aaron Finch returned to form with a half-century in season but ended under an injury cloud as Australia beat Ireland in the 42-run clash the T20 World Cup on Monday to keep their hopes of the semi-finals alive. alive.
Captain Finch’s 63 off 44 balls helped the champions post a total of 179 for five at the Gabba in Brisbane before the Australian bowlers, led by Mitchell Starc was Ireland’s number one on Halloween.
Australia moved up to second in Group 1 after leading New Zealand, who have a game in hand, but the hosts missed a golden opportunity to extend their lead over third-placed England after reducing Ireland to 25 from the original five.
Lorcan Tucker’s brave and unbeaten 71 took Ireland to 137 before they were bowled out after 18.1 overs.
Pat Cummins dismissed Tucker for 35, leaving the Starc bowler fuming.
“We didn’t get it in the right area (for Tucker),” Starc said.
“We’re taking that fish and we’re probably sitting here talking about how we got back to netting rates or whatever.”
However, with the top two teams advancing to the semi-finals, the pressure is on for Jos Buttler’s England to beat unbeaten New Zealand at the same venue on Tuesday.
Australia have other injury concerns besides Finch, who spent most of Ireland’s chase on the field.
Number six bowler Tim David couldn’t escape his pain.
All-rounder Marcus Stoinis was on and off the field even though he scored 35 balls and took a wicket during his bowling.
Finch said he was hoping to be fit for Australia’s final Super 12 clash with Afghanistan in Adelaide on Friday, but the skipper had a history of success.
“It doesn’t hurt much right now but generally during the night they can get colder,” said the over-excited opener.
Physical fitness resulted in the victory for the hosts in front of a crowd full of fans in Halloween costumes.
After a slow and shy 31 not out in the win over Sri Lanka in Perth, Finch began to tighten up with the bat but his confidence grew in partnership with Mitchell Marsh (28) and Stoinis.
He brought up his fifty with a six during the earthquake for Ireland all-rounder Mark Adair, who took five wickets and made 26 runs before finishing with a miserable 0-59.
Ireland’s Barry McCarthy had a better night with 3-29 and leaped over the ropes for a stunning catch that denied Stoinis for six and Adair saved four runs when he bowled the ball before settling down .
Left-back Starc wasn’t called into action until the fourth over in Ireland’s chase but made an immediate impact, bowling Curtis Campher and George Dockrell for ducks in the spell and the exciting swing.
That reduced Ireland to 25 for five, but it was the pinnacle for Starc and Australia as Tucker led them to a run that could prove costly in the end if they cut race is an idea.
Ian Ransom reports in Melbourne; Editing by Christian Radnedge
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