A debut to remember
In the new era of Australian cricket it was its leader Steve Smith who welcomed its newest member Joe Burns, giving the elegant right-hander the 207th ODI cap of his country.
Burns didn’t let his new leader down, dazzling with a superb 69 on debut at the top of the order with David Warner.
The pair put on 139 for the first wicket, and it was the Queenslander who outgunned his southern rival, pressing hard on the front foot, swivelling on the back and gliding where necessary in neat fashion.
While Burns made a strong start the first innings, that’s where his opening partner has been getting in to trouble…
Burns blasts off in Belfast (restrictions apply)
Warner reverses Test trend
Smith has scored 11 Test match centuries – all in Australia’s first innings of the match.
While Warner’s 12 Test tons are split evenly, his average is 10 runs higher in the second dig.
And throughout the Ashes, Warner scored four half-centuries at 69 batting second, opposed to one fifty at 28 in the first innings.
On Thursday, Warner went a little way to bringing that split closer to parity with a dynamic 84 from 80 balls.
Perhaps it was the change of format, colour of the ball or even the opposition, but watching Warner go big in the first innings of a match is what gets bums on seats.
While Warner found some success batting first, it was an unprecedented failure for the skipper…
Skipper Smith proves mortal
Last summer, Smith became the first player in history to score a century on both his Test and ODI captaincy debut.
In fact, in the four matches Smith captained in the 2014-15 season (three Tests, one ODI), he scored a century in each.
So when Smith fell for just 21 in Belfast, out to a brilliant reflex catch by Ireland wicketkeeper Niall O’Brien, the young captain’s imperious record was over.
It was an impossibly high standard to keep, but Smith will need to make runs if his middle order doesn’t fire soon…
Positive signs for Australia: Smith
After a stunning start by new opening pair Burns and Warner, Australia went from 0-139 to 4-170 in less than nine overs.
Both openers fell in quick succession, while George Bailey and Glenn Maxwell contributed only three runs between them.
While it’s no cause of concern just yet, the trend is similar to the Ashes series.
Porterfield pleased with Ireland fightback
Australia lost wickets in clumps against England, none more so than in the first innings of Edgbaston and Trent Bridge.
But the ODI side is a different kettle of fish, and one big difference is the Big Show himself…
Maxi's mixed bag
Maxwell made two with the bat, but bounced back with a brace of wickets with the ball.
Despite conceding 10.25 runs per over, Maxwell claimed the key wickets of Ed Joyce and O’Brien, snapping their tide-turning 86-run partnership to spark a collapse of their own.
BOWLED HIM! Maxwell gets the key breakthrough for Australia as Joyce is beaten charging down the track. Out for 44. IRE 3-94 (14.2) #IREvAUS— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) August 27, 2015
Like all good allrounders, when one discipline fails to fire, the other one can get you off the hook.
Maxwell will be hoping his stellar World Cup form continues into the one-off T20 against England on Monday before a five-match ODI series begins in Southampton on September 3.