South Africa continue to make a mockery out of Associate Nations as they battered Ireland by 201 runs to consolidate their second spot, just behind India in the points table despite being level. There are teams who dismiss the non-Test playing sides and have seen their side succumb to a surprise loss, lending their opponents have a slice of history. The Proteas see these games as an opportunity; to get back in form; to post big runs and to make a mockery of these sides even staking a claim for a Test spot. Ireland bore the brunt of the Protea wrath and were torn apart brutally, a la West Indies a few days ago. Hashim Amla showed his violent side with the willow and it was a nightmarish for the Irish as he brought up his highest ODI score. It was also a day where Virat Kohli’s record for the fastest to reach 20 hundreds was beaten by a country mile by the bearded South African genius. Catch the 5 Highlights of the match here
Ireland made a perfect start by removing Quinton de Kock early but when Faf du Plessis (another centurion) and Amla got going, wilted under pressure as boundaries kept flying everywhere. Amla brought out an uncharacteristic big hitting streak, clearing the ropes regularly while Du Plessis was all finesse and touch, nudging the ball around and bringing up boundaries too. After their mammoth 257-run partnership, there was more trouble in store as Rilee Rossouw and David Miller played starring roles in taking the team score beyond 400 for the second consecutive time. Catch the Full Video Highlights of then match here
Ireland were never in the hunt as Dale Steyn and Kyle Abbott ran through the Irish top order and had lost half their squad with barely 50 on the board. Facing an embarrassing defeat; the biggest ODI defeat possibly, Andy Balbirne and the big-hitting Kevin O’Brien lead a valiant fightback as South Africa took the foot off the pedal and experimented with part-time bowlers in the middle overs. Also Read: ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Schedule: Complete Fixtures & Time Table of all Cricket World Cup 2015 Matches.
Ireland yet again showed their fighting qualities though. Despite being carted across the Manuka Oval, there was intent and an eagerness to snare wickets. And they showed with the bat too. Any other side could have rolled over after having their top order back in the hut so quickly but not the Ireland, whose dogged spirit triumphs even in defeat. A little more steel in the batting order and a tearaway pacer would complete this side.
South Africa 411 for 4 in 50 Overs (Hashim Amla 159, Faf du Plessis 109, Rilee Rossouw 61*; Andy McBrine 2 for 62) beat Ireland 210 in 45 Overs (Andy Balbirnie 58, Kevin O’ Brien 48; Kyle Abbott 4 for 21) by 201 runs