first_img On a rain-affected day in Belfast, Steve Smith started life as Michael Clarke’s successor with a 23-run success on Duckworth/Lewis. Smith opted to bat first and a century opening stand between David Warner (84) and debutant Joe Burns (69) helped them to post 222 for six in the 40.2 overs that were possible. Australia defeated a spirited Ireland in their first one-day international since winning the World Cup. Ireland’s eventual target after rain delays was 181 in 24 overs but they were dismissed for 157 as Nathan Coulter-Nile claimed three for 13. Man-of-the-match Warner and his new partner Burns put on 139 in a dominant onslaught, scoring at 6.36 runs an over before Craig Young dismissed the latter. Australia never quite enjoyed the same comfort thereafter, Tim Murtagh nipping out Warner and George Bailey, with Andy McBrine adding Glenn Maxwell as the momentum slipped. Shane Watson, not seen since the first Ashes Test, finished 26 not out at better than a run per ball. Ireland, initially chasing 195 in 27 overs, lost openers Paul Stirling and William Porterfield inside two overs before a gutsy third-wicket fightback. Veterans Ed Joyce (44) and Niall O’Brien (45) put on 86 in just 12.4 overs, but neither man could go on. Maxwell’s off-spin was expensive but accounted for both top-scorers. Only Stuart Thompson backed the pair up with a score above 20 as Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins each took two wickets. Coulter-Nile returned at the death to end things early with the last two scalps. center_img Press Associationlast_img