Australia A claimed the seven second innings wickets they needed on day four to beat Ireland by 93 runs.
Australia A 9-312 dec. & 0-174 dec. defeated Ireland 4-186 dec. and 207 (Henriques 4-22, Lyon 3-40) by 93 runs at Stormont, Belfast. Full Scorecard
The match was at the mercy of Mother Nature in the early stages, washing out the morning session without a ball being bowled.
When the skies cleared Australia A set out to capture the secret seven they were seeking to seal the contest, but they had to wait while Andrew White and James Shannon held the fast men at bay.
The introduction of Nathan Lyon brought the success Brad Haddin was after, getting one to bite to have White caught at bat-pad for 23.
Five overs later Shannon departed in the same fashion as Lyon found a groove to his liking, varying his pace and spin with venomous precision.
Henriques struck in his first over yesterday and didn’t waste any time on day four, removing Ireland captain Kevin O’Brien and John Mooney inside the 41st over.
All four of the all-rounders’ dismissals found an Irish edge. Three found their way to his keeper’s gloves, the other to Nic Maddinson, as the pair collected eight grabs between them: five to three respectively.
Much of the interest around this fixture surrounded the inclusion of refugee Fawad Ahmed.
Wicketless in the first innings, Ahmed’s control was on show on day four, finally grabbing his first pole in the green and gold, Australian born Trent Johnston leg before.
No bowler beat the bat more than Peter Siddle during the match, who’s combination of swing and pace was too good for the Irish.
He claimed the seventh and final wicket to hand Australia A a deserving victory.
The match will be remembered for the sporting spirit it was played in and the individual performances on show.
Three declarations on day three meant a result was inevitable, playing in the true spirit of cricket and providing some thrilling cricket for the loyal audience.
Max Soreneen’s five wickets had the visitors in trouble early on, countered by Steve Smith’s super 133 from 218 balls.
Paul Stirling then made Smith’s century a distant memory with a blazing hundred of his own, spanking 115 off 142 deliveries with a surfeit of boundaries.
To top it all, Nic Maddinson played an innings so violent parental guidance was recommended. His ton came from only 57 balls, including 13 fours and six monstrous sixes – one sailing over 130m into an adjacent field.
Maddinson was rightly named Man of the Match for his incredible innings, but Haddin will be happy with the team’s consistent progression through this match and the tour as a whole.
Australia A now head to Bristol to take on Gloucestershire in a three-day match starting Friday, hoping for warmer and dryer climes.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 18 June, 2013 3:43AM AEDT