Cricket World Cup fever is all over the world these days and in its only “break day” so far, it was badly missed by many. And that one day break even, couldn’t break South Africa’s momentum. It was match no. 24 of the ICC #CWC15 and we saw Ireland fall into pieces against one of the major contenders of the title, South Africa.
South Africa didn’t get off to the best of starts, with de Kock failing one more time. Ever since he has come back from injury, he has struggled to get going with the bat. However, like the last game, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis got together and steadied the ship from there on. Their rotation of strike was great and they made sure that the Irish couldn’t bog them down, dispatching the loose ones to the fence. Both of them were together from the 3rd over till the 39th and put on 247 runs for the second wicket.
In the process, Hashim Amla (108 innings) became the fastest man to reach 20 ODI hundreds, du Plessis also soon reached his ton and both of them then tried to accelerate. Faf du Plessis was deceived by a yorker from Kevin O’Brien and de Villiers came out to bat after him. He started off in his usual manner, racing away to 22 off just 7 balls.
However, Andy McBrine sent both Amla and de Villiers back in a space of 3 balls to halt the South African onslaught. After that Miller and Rossouw took the onus of going after the bowling. Both of them thrashed the Irish bowlers to all parts of the park and helped their team go past 400, becoming the first team to score 400 in consecutive games.
Both of them finished unbeaten, with Rossouw bringing up his 3rd ODI fifty just before the end of the innings as South Africa recorded the second highest score in World Cup history. For Ireland, Mooney started the proceedings on a good note. In his first 5 overs, he picked up a wicket and just gave away 9 runs. However, during the final stages of the innings, he was smashed all around and went for 43 off just 2 overs in his second spell.
George Dockrell was the only bowler, who gave away less than 6 runs an over. Apart from him, the South Africans took a toll of the other bowlers, especially Sorensen and Kevin O’Brien. Sorensen gave away 76 in his 6 and O’Brien also conceded 95 runs in his 7 overs as .
Porterfield and Stirling played some delightful shots, but Steyn and Abbott sent them back in quick succession. Ed Joyce followed soon after. At one stage, they were reeling at 48/5 before Balbirnie and Kevin O’Brien added 81 runs for the sixth wicket.
It was Ireland’s highest partnership against South Africa for any wicket. However, Balbirnie departed soon after reaching his maiden ODI fifty. Kevin O’Brien, who had played the waiting game until the batting powerplay, fell off the very first delivery. Dockrell and Sorensen prolonged the inevitable for a while. The pair added 31 runs for the 9th wicket before Morne came back and finished things off. It was a clinical display by the South African bowlers.
Steyn was back to his fiery best. Abbott has made the most of the opportunities he has been given. Morkel kept it tight at one end. Tahir was a bit inconsistent today. ABD tried a few different options in Faf, Rossouw and himself. He also managed to pick up a wicket.
Hashim Amla was adjudged Man of the Match for his 159, although against a weaker opponent, Ireland.
South Africa 411 for 4 in 50 overs.
Ireland 210 for 10 in 45 overs.