South Africa and Ireland faced off in the ICC World Cup 2015 in Canberra with both teams heading into the contest knowing that a win would put them on the verge of a spot in the quarter-finals. The Manuka Oval in Australia’s capital, Canberra bore witness to the Proteas batsmen gorge on the Irish attack in what was a spectacular display of batting yet again. After looking solid against West Indies, Hashim Amla was spectacular here and Faf du Plessis’s went one step further after posting half-centuries in his last two games. As for Ireland, it was a long day of leather hunting as the Proteas crossed 400 for the second consecutive time; the first team to do so as well. Catch the Live Streaming of the match here
Quinton de Kock’s early blow: Ireland were fired up the early stages and Quinton de Kock was dismissed by John Mooney, who was spot on in his early spell. The burly Irish pacer had De Kock tied up at the crease and the batsman ended up nicking the ball to the keeper. The decision was initially given not out by Ranmore Martinez but the Irish were sure of the nick from the South African wicket-keeper’s bat. The decision was referred and was given out. Ireland were ‘Kock’-a-hoop and were on the march after playing with such authority in the first two games of theirs.
Ed Joyce’s costly miss off Hashim Amla: The Irish have always prided on their fielding. Unlike other Associalte Nations, (Afghanistan in particular), they have always been holding on their catches like seasoned professionals ever since they burst onto the scene. South Africa had just lost De Kock and were looking a tad vulnerable. Amla pulled Kevin O’Brien but William Porterfield had a man at short mid-wicket and it was the old warhorse Ed Joyce. The ball came at a nice height and a top professional out to have been holding on those. He spooned the catch and there was anguish written large on each and every Irish fielder as they knew how costly that drop would go on to be. The afternoon simply snowballed miserably from there for Men in Green. Catch the Live Updates of the match here
Faf du Plessis , Hashim Amla make merry: Ireland would have learnt a valuable lesson to not drop catches off big players. After dropping Amla, Faf du Plessis and Amla went about their business with total ease. There was not a moment or a passage of play where the two batsmen looked in any sort of trouble and were slamming fours and sixes with ease. Amla, at one stage was slogging sixes and looked slightly out of character; almost like he wanted to fit in with the others Proteas in their top six. The bowling nosedived too and despite staying upbeat and confident, Irish bowlers were in for a pasting. Faf was doing his AB de Villiers tribute; full of dabs and reverse sweeps and showing how one can play cricket while doing yoga too. Amla was piercing the gaps effortlessly and runs were coming thick and fast. Amla got his 20th hundred and is now one behind Herschelle Gibbs on the South African list. Amla also became the fastest to reach 20 hundreds, beating Virat Kohli’s record by a fair distance.