Duminy misses 100 but rescues South Africa

South Africa were inserted in by Ireland given that it was overcast and that rain and the ensuing Duckworth-Lewis would have been a concern.

By Suneer Chowdhary

Kolkata: Mar 15, 2011

Right through the tournament, Ireland has been the one Associate team that has bowled well. They restricted Bangladesh to around 200 and India were made to earn their win chasing down the paltry score. Even against West Indies, till the advent of Kieron Pollard, batting was a walk in a minefield for the side. One of the reasons behind that is that to go with their above-average bowling, the fielding unit usually scraps hard to cut the chances of frivolous runs, thus, making the bowling look a tad better than it already is.

For more than half the innings today, South Africa experienced this very aspect of the Irish side. Half the side was sent back for 117 before the 27th over was up and with the rain threatening to fall during that initial passage of play, South Africa looked in a danger of being upset.

Fortunately for the South Africans, the batting extends to the number nine position, with India s scourge from the previous game, Robin Peterson batting at that position. That helped South Africa recover from the seemingly poor 117 for 5 to help them post 272 for seven.

South Africa were inserted in by Ireland given that it was overcast and that rain and the ensuing Duckworth-Lewis would have been a concern. The decision proved to be a ripper. After Hashim Amla had hit a four and a six and then slashed Boyd Rankin to the third-man fielder while attempting to do a Virender Sehwag wickets fell at regular intervals.

What did not help and would have captured the attention of the coach was the running between the wickets. The calling between Graeme Smith and Morne van Wyk was delayed leading to the captain s run-out while Jacques Kallis was lethargic enough to believe that it was a World Masters cricket match.

van Wyk was dropped twice en route his hard-hitting 42 (41 balls) but was bowled off the young but the vastly improving George Dockrell while Faff du Plessis made only 11.

Another wicket at this stage would have placed South Africa in a tricky situation but the cool heads of JP Duminy and Colin Ingram bailed them out of trouble. Ingram, who had come into the side in place of the injured AB de Villiers stroked his way to a 43-ball 46. Duminy was the calming partner at the other end and the pair added 87 for the sixth wicket in quick time.

By the time Ingram was dismissed, unfortunately missing a well-deserved half-century, the momentum had been picked. Johan Botha supported Duminy well during the Batting Powerplay which had to be forcibly taken in the last five overs of the innings.

41 came off the last five overs of the innings but the highlight was clearly the unselfish batting of Duminy. Batting on 99 in the last over, he went for a big shot instead of going for a single and perished one short of the much-deserved century. His 99 came off 103 balls.

Brief Scores: South Africa 272 for 7 in 50 overs (JP Duminy 99, Colin Ingram 46, Morne Van Wky 42; John Mooney 1 for 36, George Dockrell 1 for 37) vs Ireland.

(Suneer is a Mumbai-based cricket writer and can be contacted at suneerchowdhary@gmail.com and Tweets here @suneerchowdhary)

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