Australia A recover against Ireland in Stormont four-day game

The four-day game between Ireland and Australia A at Stormont is evenly balanced after the first day of play.

Ireland had the better of the early exchanges, reducing the visitors to 139-6, but Australia rallied thanks to a seventh-wicket century partnership.

At the close of play, the Aussies were 248-6, with Steve Smith 104 not out and James Pattinson unbeaten on 42.

Max Sorensen has been the pick of the Irish bowlers so far with 4-44, while Trent Johnston has figures of 2-50.

Ireland won the toss and elected to field, a decision which appeared to have paid dividends as the tourists stood at 70-4 off 21.2 overs at lunch.

Alex Doolan and Moises Henriques steadied the ship with scores of 40 and 47 respectively as the other batsmen at the top of the order struggled to find their form.

Peter Siddle who had made his maiden first-class hundred last week against Scotland, was dismissed for a duck this time, John Mooney taking a sharp chance in the gully to give Sorensen his fourth wicket.

The partnership between Smith and Pattinson saw Australia A recover and the pair were still at the crease when play was brought to a premature end because of rain after 72 overs of play around 17:00 BST.

Smith, 24, has taken 176 balls to move to 104 not out, in an innings which has included a six and 14 fours.

Play will continue at 11:00 BST on Saturday morning, with the match scheduled to finish on Monday.

Ireland will be hoping that the second new ball, due in eight overs' time, brings the Australia innings to a quick conclusion