Australia couldn’t have asked for a better start to their tour of South Africa. The Steve Smith led unit was ruthless against Ireland at Benoni, as they sealed a comprehensive victory by 9 wickets. Electing to bat first on a decent wicket, Ireland got off to a positive start as Paul Stirling and John Anderson collaborated for a decent stand. However, the floodgates soon opened up and the Australian bowlers were all over the Irish in no time.
The chase was a mere formality as southpaws David Warner and Usman Khawaja got going from the outset. After losing Warner for a brisk 48, Steve Smith and Khawaja guided the Aussies home with more than 19 overs to spare. Post winning the game, Smith admitted that he was quite geared up to take on South Africa, in what he termed as a “challenging series”.
“Pretty good performance in the end although we need to work on a few areas, “Smith said. “Especially with the way we started with the ball. No excuses, we gave them a lot of freebies in the start. We want to be ruthless and hopefully, we want to continue taking wickets in the middle overs. Zampa has been doing really well, hasn’t he? He always gets wickets. Should be a tough series against South Africa and we are up for it.”
Man of the Match Usman Khawaja was delighted with his knock of 82. “Feels happy, great to have a win and it’s a pretty comfortable win in the end,” Khawaja said. “A good surface, nice to hit the ball in the air. The bowlers bowled beautifully and the way we responded with the bat is impressive.”
“I was trying to give Warner strike as much as possible. South Africa are a very good side, their bowling, fielding, and batting – Everything’s top-notch and also they have been a great ODI side for a long time. It will be a challenging series and we are looking forward to it,” added Khawaja.