The Aussies completed a 102 run win over Leicestershire on Thursday, and are in Northern Ireland for the next phase of preparation for their five match ODI series against England. The Irish head into this encounter with momentum from their ten match T20 winning streak during the ICC World T20 qualifier title in March.
June 23, Civil Service Cricket Club, Belfast
Starting Time: 1045 Local Time (0945 GMT time)
Pitch and Weather conditions
The pitch at the Civil Service Cricket Club in Belfast is a slow one. The weather might play spoilsport since the forecast is poor for Saturday.
The Australian’s are without the veteran Michael Hussey who pulled out of this tour after the premature birth of his fourth child. “We’re trying to get our structure right, obviously with Mike Hussey not being there it’s a big blow for us in that line-up. We’re actually looking forward to getting out there and actually finding the right combination.” said Warner after his knock of 74 on Thursday. Michael Clarke has not revealed any team news upon arriving in Belfast.
Ireland have heaps of talent with county experience to pick from.
William Porterfield (capt), Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Ed Joyce, John Mooney, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Max Sorensen, Paul Stirling, Andrew White, Gary Wilson.
David Warner, Matthew Wade (wk), Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (capt), David Hussey, George Bailey, Steve Smith, Mitchell Johnson, Clint McKay, James Pattinson, Xavier Doherty, Pat Cummins, Peter Forrest, Ben Hilfenhaus, Brett Lee
David Warner (Aus)
The explosive Aussie opener caught the eye during the rain affected game on Thursday where he scored 74 off 78 balls before retiring. He has already adjusted to the English conditions and has learned to control his aggression early on in the innings. This makes him all the more dangerous.
Paul Striling will be the Irish batsman to lookout for. He was the top scorer in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier tournament with 357 runs at 44.62. Stirling can raise his reputation another notch by performing against Australia.
While Paul Stirling emerged as the top run getter in the T20 Qualifier tournament, Boyd Rankin was the most destructive bowler for Ireland. The medium pacer claimed 15 wickets at a measly 11.06.
How the two teams stand
The visit of Australia for a one-off match in Belfast is the sort of opportunity the hosts have been seeking to further their ambitions of a place at cricket’s top table.
Australia on the other hand, are defending their top spot in the ODI ranking. However, they are still trying to strike the right combination in their batting order. Although Wade and Warner added 69 for the opening stand on Thursday, it is not certain whether this pair will continue to face the new ball. For Clarke’s team this outing will be a good preparation for the series against England. They looked steady against Leicestershire in the opening fixture, but they know Ireland will offer a bigger test playing at home.
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