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    Paine, Hopes help Australia beat Ireland

    Wicketkeeper Paine struck 81, while Hopes dismissed Ireland\'s tail, finishing with superb figures of 5-14.

    Dublin: Opener Tim Paine shone with the bat and medium pacer James Hopes did the damage with the ball as Australia beat Ireland by 39 runs in the one-day international at Clontarf Cricket Club Ground on Thursday.

    Wicketkeeper Paine, filling in for the injured Brad Haddin, struck 81 as Australia was restricted to 231-9 after captain Ricky Ponting won the toss and elected to bat.

    Hopes then dismissed Ireland's tail, finishing with superb figures of 5-14 off nine overs to dismiss the home side for 192 in 42 overs earn the tourists a win in the opening match of their tour of the British Isles.

    Australia far from dominated the game against a plucky Ireland side that threatened an upset when the opening pair of William Porterfield and Paul Stirling had an 80-run partnership.

    But once Stirling went for 36, bowled by Ryan Harris, the hosts' wickets fell regularly. Spinner Nathan Hauritz, preferred to Steven Smith in the Australia lineup, and Harris each claimed two wickets before Hopes entered the fray to blow away Ireland's lower order.

    He first trapped Alex Cusack (30) lbw before he found an edge off Andrew White (4), who was caught behind by Paine.

    Kevin O'Brien (5) went the same way, and Hopes then bowled Trent Johnston (1) and rapped the pads of Paul Connell (0) in front of his wickets.

    Shane Watson clinched the victory when John Mooney's attempted slog over midwicket got a top edge and he was caught by Ponting for a quickfire 38.

    Earlier, Paine hit five fours and two sixes in his 122-ball knock, while Cameron White (42 off 54 balls) and Ponting (33) also weighed in with decent scores.

    The 25-year-old Paine has impressed when given a chance in Australia's limited-overs side, posting 111 against England last year as well as three half-centuries in his 17 games. He outshone his teammates in Dublin, underpinning the innings as the more established top-order batsmen fell.

    Watson (13) was the first to go, caught behind by Gary Wilson off Boyd Rankin on the last ball of the fifth over, before Ponting lost his wicket to Stirling after a 66-run partnership with Paine.

    Michael Clarke went for a duck after being stumped by Wilson having faced just five balls, bringing White to the crease. He upped the tempo, hitting four boundaries in another 66-run partnership with Paine.

    White fell to the disciplined Stirling and when Paine followed him to the pavilion six overs later after becoming the first of Kevin O'Brien's three victims, Australian wickets disappeared quickly.

    An entertaining 11-ball salvo by Hauritz (19) featured three fours before he holed out to Niall O'Brien for the third of his catches — all of which came off the bowling of namesake Kevin.

    Ireland would have been happy with its performance in the field, with its attack keeping the run rate down to well below five an over. Kevin O'Brien (3-43) and Stirling (2-34) registered the best figures.