Lorcan Tuckers heroic knock of 71* from 48 deliveries went in vain as Ireland suffered a five-wicket defeat against Australia in their Super 12 encounter of the ICC T20 World Cup to Australia by 42 runs at the Gabba in Brisbane on Monday (October 31). With this win, defending champions Australia have now climbed up to second place in Group 1 with five points.

With this win, defending champions Australia have now climbed up to the second place in Group 1 with five points, whereas Ireland is placed fourth with three points.

The hosts got off to a slow start as the Ireland bowlers used the conditions well to keep Australia quiet. Barry McCarthy dismissed David Warner in the third over of the innings before Australia could get any sort of momentum going. Finch and Mitchell Marsh tried their best but they could take Australia to a score of 38/1 at the end of the powerplay.

Things changed soon, though. Marsh and Finch started taking on the bowlers after the powerplay and added the necessary impetus to the Australian innings. Finch was involved in two crucial partnerships of 52 and 70 with Marsh and Marcus Stoinis respectively, which helped Australia in getting to such a competitive total.

It was McCarthy once again who brought an end to Finch’s knock while Stoinis also played a good innings of 35 from 25 deliveries. Matthew Wade and Tim David, who remained unbeaten on seven and 15 respectively, also added valuable runs towards the end.

Skipper Andrew Balbirnie and Paul Stirling played some breathtaking shots to start off the Irish innings. They put on an opening stand of 18 runs within just two overs but the Australian bowlers made a quick recovery and destroyed Ireland’s top and middle-order completely.

The collapse started with Andrew Balbirnie’s wicket as Pat Cummins cleaned him up with an excellent inswinger. But Ireland then lost two wickets in the third over to Glenn Maxwell and then another two in the fourth over to Mitchell Starc. These successive jolts left Ireland reeling at 25/5 and made it extremely difficult for them to get back into the contest.

The match seemed like heading towards an early finish when Ireland were reduced to 25/5 within the fourth over of the innings. But Tucker stepped up and played a brave knock to keep his team in the chase. The 26-year-old paced his innings well and built crucial partnerships with Gareth Delaney and Mark Adair. He did the bulk of the scoring in both the stands and also in the ones that followed, carrying his bat right until the end.

Tucker remained unbeaten on 71 from 48 deliveries finally as Ireland got bowled out for 137. Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Starc claimed a couple of wickets each while Stoinis also chipped in with one scalp.