Half-centuries from captain Meg Lanning (74) and Tahlia McGrath (70) set up Australia's thumping 63-run win over Ireland in the fourth match of the Women's Tri-Series.After Meg and Tahlia powered Australia to 182-4 in 20 overs, the highest total of the series so far, leg-spinner Alana King took 2-11 from three overs and was backed by left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen and pacer Megan Schutt picking two wickets each to restrict Ireland to 119-7 in 20 overs.
Ireland enjoyed a fine start with the ball, limiting Australia to 39-2 after six overs. Georgina Dempsey was the first bowler to strike, trapping Alyssa Healy lbw for 1. While Meg immediately looked at home out in the middle, Australia were dealt another blow when Rachel Delaney struck in her first over as Beth Mooney failed to get the right connection off a full toss, giving a catch to mid-on and depart for 9.
That brought Meg together with Tahlia and after a quiet couple of overs, a pair of sixes from the visiting captain off Arlene Kelly's second over got Australia moving. Regular boundaries followed as Meg and Tahlia targeted all corners of the ground; the former brought up her half-century off 31 balls while the latter took 30.
Together their partnership was worth 135, the highest third-wicket stand for Australia Women in T20Is.Meg finally departed for 74 in the penultimate over of the innings, when Georgina took an excellent catch at deep square leg off the bowling of Arlene.
Teenager Georgina was in the action once again in the final over, removing Tahlia for 70 as she finished with figures of 2-35 from her four overs. There were economical displays from Leah Paul (0-20 off three overs) and Ava Canning (0-18 off her three) but Australia's total of 182-4 was an imposing one.
Australia made inroads with the ball quickly, with Rebecca Stokell departing for 1 in the first over of the reply to Megan. Fellow opener Gaby Lewis found Meg's safe hands off the bowling of Jess in the fourth over.
But Orla Prendergast looked in fine touch, hitting four boundaries to move to 20 off just 13 balls.A healthy partnership was brewing between skipper Laura Delany and Orla, but their stand of 36 was broken by Alana luring the latter down the ground only for the ball to sneak through the advance and strike the stumps.
She struck once again in her next over, turning the ball past Rachel Delaney to have the right-hander stumped for 3.Australia's bowlers tied down run-scoring in the middle overs and regular wickets meant Ireland were unable to pose a significant threat as the innings wound down.
Orla finished as Ireland's top-scorer with 25, but not enough for the hosts to avoid a thrashing from the World Champions.
Brief Scores: Australia 182-4 in 20 overs (Meg Lanning 74, Tahlia McGrath 70; Georgina Dempsey 2-35) beat Ireland 119-7 in 20 overs (Orla Prendergast 25, Laura Delany 21; Alana King 2-11, Megan Schutt 2-16) by 63 runs