Scorecard Match Photos

A view of the  ground at Downpatrick with lay going on in heavy drizzleThere was never any question that Ireland might beat Australia in a one-day match without overs limitations. So Michael Halliday performed his most important task when he won the toss, ensuring that Australia would bat first and give the spectators at Downpatrick (as well as the BBC Northern Ireland live television audience) what they had come to see.

It also said much for Australia's promise to entertain that they agreed to play through the drizzle which marked the start of play.

But the exchanges were deadly serious and the crowd's interest aroused when Australia lost two wickets by the time they had scored 36 runs.

There was a touch of comedy about the first when Graeme Wood, who had faced only 18 balls and scored two of the 22 runs in an opening partnership with Andrew Hilditch, started off in search of a run that wasn't really there. Hilditch sent him back, Wood couldn't get a grip on the slippery surface, and was beaten by Junior McBrine's deadly throw to wicketkeeper Keith Bailey.

Dirk Welham started briskly, scoring six runs - including a classic straight drive off Simon Corlett - in the eight balls he faced, but was then bowled by the North Man, who saw Welham expose his stumps as he attempted an off-side slash, and despatched him with a well-directed yorker.

Then came the best entertainment of the day as Aussie skipper Allan Border joined Hilditch in a third wicket partnership which added 51 electrifying runs.

There was further entertainment when David Dennison galloped round the square leg boundary, flung himself at a hook from Hilditch, got both hands to the ball, but saw it bounce over the boundary as his elbows hit the turf. Dennison's reward for a magnificent piece of fielding was a thick coating of mud over sweater and whites as he picked himself up.

Hilditch, however, departed the scene when he went down the track to Halliday, failed to connect, and left Bailey with a simple stumping chance. The wicketkeeper made a mess of it by dropping the ball, but Hilditch was already on his way to the pavilion and Bailey was able to pick up the ball and complete the dismissal.

Hilditch looked a class batsman, scoring 43 runs from 66 deliveries and hitting seven sweetly-timed boundaries, but Border was the man making the crowd forget the dismal weather as he powered his way to 91 glorious runs before falling to a quite brilliant John Prior catch off the bowling of McBrine.