AUSTRALIA'S big-hitting trio of David Warner, Usman Khawaja and Steven Smith delivered a mercifully quick nine-wicket one-day international victory over Ireland in Benoni yesterday (TUES ) to bring down the curtain on a miserable 2016 for the Boys in Green.

For years Ireland have been demanding more exposure to the top teams but in the past eight months William Porterfield's waning side has failed to win a game at the World T20 and lost heavily to Sri Lanka, Pakistan, South Africa and now Australia.

It was important for Ireland to regain some pride after a 206-run mauling by hosts South Africa on Sunday but after batting first and building a solid platform of 121-2 in the 24th over, all the good work was undone as John Anderson, Gary Wilson and Sean Terry fell in the space of seven balls.

The dismissal of Terry was symbolic of a team that has lost its way and at times appears startled in the glare of the big stage. The YMCA batsman was struck on the pads by Danny Worrall and then, out of his crease, he was run out awaiting the umpire's decision on the lbw appeal.

Ironically, Worrall who has an Irish passport and has played for Railway Union, made enquiries about the possibility of representing the land of his forefathers before being called up by Australia.

Anderson encouragingly top-scored with 39 and Paul Stirling made 30 but Ireland were bowled out for 198 in 43.5 overs, failing to reach even the minor milestone of 200 after such a good start.

In reply Warner smashed two sixes and raced to 48 from 30 balls before he was caught and bowled by Tim Murtagh, leaving man-of-the-match Khawaja and Smith to steer the world champions home with 19.5 overs to spare.