South Africa wallop Ireland to ease into quarterfinals

South Africa became the first team from the Group B to qualify for the quarter-finals of the ICC World Cup 2011 when they easily brushed Ireland aside by 131 runs on Tuesday.

By Suneer Chowdhary

Kolkata: Mar 15, 2011

South Africa became the first team from Group B to qualify for the quarter-finals of the ICC World Cup 2011 when they easily brushed Ireland aside by 131 runs on Tuesday.

The chase of 273 was always going to be a stiff one, but hope germinated from Ireland s game against England where they had scored 329 to win it for the side.

Against a much stronger South African attack, it was not to be. Morne Morkel extracted enough bounce from the track early on to dismiss both the openers William Porterfield and Paul Stirling before they had got to 20. Niall O Brien hit back with a six off Morkel but Jacques Kallis had him edging in his very first over before Ed Joyce was declared out lbw to Johan Botha. Ireland had slumped to 51 for four with hard-hitting, record-holder Kevin O Brien being their only remaining hope.

O Brien pottered around for 24 balls, trying to get a good look at the bowling but after slamming a boundary off Robin Peterson, he failed to clear Hashim Amla at long-off in the same over.

At the other end, Gary Wilson had got off to his second successive meaningful start before the third umpire played a part in getting him out again. He scored 31 and was easily the best of the Irish batsmen before he got out and Ireland were soon bowled out for 141. Both Peterson and Morkel picked up three apiece.

Ireland had gone into this game against South Africa at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata with an outside chance of making it through to the knock-outs. At one stage, it did look like they had South Africa in trouble. Having lost half the side for only 117, the Irish would be harbouring hopes of an upset, especially given that there was a good chance of rains reducing the length of the game.

Two of the top five had been run-out, speaking of the probable nervousness in the minds of the batsmen and Ireland looked very much on the top.

It took some soothing batting by JP Duminy and some exhilarating display by Colin Ingram to pull the side out of the mire. While Ingram s 46 came off 43 balls and had seven boundaries, most of them crisp and off the middle of the bat, Duminy converted the start into a 99 that came off 103 deliveries. In fact, Duminy could have gone on to get his century in the last over but he chose to slam the ball to the fence for his side than to pick up the single and was caught.

South Africa ended on 272 for seven in their allocated quota of overs, which seemed to have taken the wind off the Irish sails.

Brief Scores: South Africa 272 for 7 in 50 overs (JP Duminy 99, Colin Ingram 46, Morne van Wyk 42; John Mooney 1 for 36, George Dockrell 1 for 37) bt Ireland 141 all out in 33.2 overs (Gary Wilson 31; Robin Peterson 3 for 32, Morne Morkel 3 for 33, Jacques Kallis 2 for 22).

Man of the Match: JP Duminy.

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

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