T20 World Cup: Finch returns to form but suffers injury as Australia beat Ireland

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Aaron Finch returned to form with a half-century but also suffered an injury as Australia moved up to second in T20 World Cup Group 1 with a 42-run win over Ireland.

Captain Finch top scored with 63 off 44 balls as the holders posted 179-5 at the Gabba on Monday, with Marcus Stoinis making 35.

Barry McCarthy (3-29) and Josh Little (2-21) were the pick of the Ireland bowler in Brisbane.

Finch was off the field due to a hamstring problem for the run chase, but Ireland were unable to inflict more pain on him as they were all out for 137 after being reduced to 25-5 in a devastating opening four overs that saw Mitchell Starc (2-43) and Glenn Maxwell (2-14) take two wickets apiece.

Maxwell and Starc dismissed Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Curtis Campher and George Dockrell between them, with Pat Cummins cleaning up Andy Balbirnie.

A superb innings from wicketkeeper-batter Lorcan Tucker (71 not out from 48) salvaged some pride for Ireland, but they were unable to pull off another shock after stunning England last week and are down in fourth place.

The hosts will play Afghanistan in their final Super 12 game at Adelaide Oval on Friday, with group leaders New Zealand and third-placed England meeting in a huge encounter on Tuesday.

Hosts reaffirm credentials

After a humiliating defeat to the Black Caps started their tournament on the wrong foot, Australia look to be back into the swing of things.

There will be concern over Finch’s injury, though, and David Warner missed out again as he fell for only three. Ireland’s rally also prevented Australia from significantly improved their net run-rate.

Tucker tucks in

Tucker demonstrated an array of dazzling shots to frustrate Australia, hitting a six and finding the rope nine times against a top-quality attack.

Though his efforts were ultimately in vain, he blew away the previous best score for an Ireland batter in this format against Australia, exceeding Kevin O'Brien's 35 posted back in 2012.