BELFAST: Brett Lee struck twice in the first over before rain checked Australia's progress in their lone one-day international against Ireland at Stormont here on Saturday.
Ireland, inserted by Australia captain Michael Clarke, had slumped to 36 for three in 10.4 overs when, in a match where the start was delayed by a wet outfield, a fresh downpour forced the players off the field.
Veteran fast bowler Lee got Australia off to the perfect start when, with the very first ball of the match, a full length, swinging, delivery bowled Ireland captain William Porterfield.
New batsman Ed Joyce might have been lbw first ball but didn't linger long in any event as next ball Lee produced another excellent delivery that seamed away to clip the batsman's off-stump.
Ireland were now nought for two off just three balls.
Ben Hilfenhaus's wide put the first run on the board.
Paul Stirling then struck successive boundaries off the seamer before square-driving fast bowler Pat Cummins for four as well.
But Cummins dismissed Stirling for 24 with the aid of a brilliant one-handed catch by Clarke.
Rain sent the players dashing for cover soon afterwards, with Niall O'Brien 11 not out and Gary Wilson nought not out.
This fixture precedes Australia's five-match one-day series against England starting at Lord's on June 29, with the tourists having a warm-up game, against Essex on Tuesday, in between their international assignments. (AFP)