Australia fret over Aaron Finch injury after T20 World Cup win over Ireland

Opener picks up hamstring injury during 42-run win in Brisbane

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Aaron Finch’s continued participation in Australia’s T20 World Cup title defence is in doubt after he suffered a hamstring injury in the win over Ireland.

The opener is hoping to oversee back-to-back titles after becoming the first Australian captain to lift the short-format trophy, in Dubai last year.

He returned to form with the bat against the Irish in Brisbane, with an innings of 63 which won him the player of the match award.

However, as the host nation went about defending their total of 179-5, Finch was forced off the field because of a strained hamstring.

Finch says he is hopeful of playing Australia’s next game against Afghanistan on Friday, but the severity of his injury will be assessed via a scan on Tuesday.

Tim David, the middle-order power hitter, also missed time in the fielding innings for Australia. He, too, was nursing a tight hamstring, but Finch said his absence was more precautionary.

The 42-run win at the Gabba meant Australia leapfrogged England into second place in the group, ahead of the latter’s game against table-toppers New Zealand on Tuesday.

A 75-run margin of victory would also have meant Australia would have advanced their net run-rate past England’s, too.

They seemed well set to achieve that after reducing Ireland to 25-5, but Lorcan Tucker, the Ireland wicketkeeper, mounted a sparkling fightback.

Tucker finished not out on 71 from 48 balls, but ran out of partners as Ireland were bowled out for 137 with 11 balls left.

“First and foremost, we need to win these games, so we tick that box,” Mitchell Starc, who sent down a double wicket maiden amid the top-order troubles for Ireland.

“I think we bowled quite well. Generally here at the Gabba in night games when it gets dry, it's a good chasing wicket.

“Our Powerplay was excellent, and we certainly put them on the back foot. I think they tried to stay aggressive and we batted quite well throughout the innings.

“We drag [the net-run rate situation] back a bit. We'll wait and see what the result is tomorrow [between England and New Zealand] and then we could be not having to worry about talking about net run rate.

“We certainly ticked that box today in that we won the game, and we move on to Adelaide now.”

Andy Balbirnie, the Ireland captain, said he felt like his side has missed the chance of another scalp, following on from beating England last time out.

“We knew it was an amazing opportunity, it was a great atmosphere with an amazing crowd, and one we really enjoyed,” Balbirnie said.

“It kind of feels like a missed opportunity because the wicket was pretty good. There were three dismissals including myself up top which perhaps should not have happened.

“That is the game and you can’t dwell too much on it.”

Updated: October 31, 2022, 2:12 PM