IRELAND slumped to a heavy 230 run loss to the Queensland Bulls in the opening match of their acclimatisation tour of Australia and New Zealand.

John Mooney (1-17) gave the Irish an early breakthrough when he bowled Test player Usman Khawaja (11), but that was to prove a false dawn as a full strength Queensland piled on the runs.

Joe Burns and Chris Hartley shared a second wicket stand of 204 to put their side in a totally dominant position. Burns top scored with 107 from 112 deliveries (9 fours, 3 sixes), while Hartley struck seven fours and one maximum in his 95 from 103 balls. Their partnership was ended by a fine return catch from Andrew White, but there was no respite for the beleaguered Irish attack as Nathan Reardon blasted 61 from just 33 balls (6 fours, 3 sixes) to take Queensland to an imposing 322 for 6 in their 50 overs.

Graeme McCarter (3-63) was the most successful of the Irish bowlers picking up three late wickets. The Irish reply got off to an unlucky start when Andrew Balbirnie was run out after bowler Luke Feldman deflected a Stuart Poynter drive onto the stumps with the Middlesex man out of his ground.

Ireland lost wickets at regular intervals to slump to 46 for 8, with only Kevin O'Brien (17) of the top order offering any resistance. George Dockrell struck a run a ball unbeaten 32, sharing a 9th wicket stand of 37 with Craig Young (15) as Ireland looked to salvage some respectability to their innings. They were eventually dismissed for just 92, with Mark Steketee claiming 3 for 11.

The teams meet again on Thursday, when Ireland will be hoping the arrival of county players William Porterfield, Niall O'Brien and Gary Wilson results in an improved performance.


At Kerrydale Oval, Gold Coast

QUEENSLAND BULLS 322/6 (50 overs, J Burns 107, C Hartley 95, N Reardon 61, G McCarter 3-63)

IRELAND XI 92 all out (30.1 overs, G Dockrell 32*, K O'Brien 17, M Steketee 3-11) Queensland Bulls won by 230 runs

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