After the thrashing that England handed out to the West Indies yesterday in their first World Cup warm-up match in the southern hemisphere, it was the turn of Scotland today to mete out their own punishment on Ireland. In an unexpected turn of events in Sydney, they humiliated their more-favoured rivals by 179 runs in a game that never became much of a contest.

Ireland's task always looked to be tricky, after Scotland had posted a more than respectable 296-6 from their full 50 over allotment. Matt Machan led the run charge with a pleasing 103, besides keeping the innings together, as he was involved in two sizeable partnerships for the fourth and fifth wickets.

Machan put on 96 runs alongside his captain Preston Mommsen, who bagged himself a half-century, and then 98 more runs with fellow half-centurion Richie Berrington.

In reply, the Irish looked to be going along steadily at first at 57-0 in pursuit of their target of almost six runs an over, until the heart of their batting was ripped out by Alasdair Evans. The seamer's 4-17, included all four wickets in his first three overs. He was ably supported in the demolition of the Irish innings by the spin of Majid Haq, whose 3-9 spell in just four overs completed the job for the Scots, as their opposition crumbled to a modest 117 all out.

Scotland have one more warm-up game remaining before they start the tournament proper and must surely be hoping for another win (of course) but also a tighter contest, to ensure that they are 'battle-hardened' when the action that really counts starts.

For Ireland, it will surely be more of a case of chalking the match off as a bad day at the office and moving on.

One wonders if the current spate of World Cup ODI warm-up matches Down Under are actually giving the teams involved, especially from the British Isles, a true indication of their current form and helping them to gauge what their final XIs should look like when the tournament itself starts, given the one-sided games so far.

Victories are of course good for team spirit and confidence, but surely the purpose of these games is to get some true match practice, while avoiding injuries if at all possible. Today's other warm-up games also featured another one-sided affair, as India crushed Afghanistan by 153 runs in Adelaide.

In an attempt to set the boundaries of what is acceptable behaviour and what is not, at the forthcoming World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, the International Cricket Council have outlined their approach to what they deem as excessive sledging during the tournament. The ICC will look to fine or maybe even ban players involved in such antics, with the more draconian penalty being doled out to repeat offenders.