South Africa had no difficulty in crushing Ireland by 131 runs in the 34th game of the ICC World Cup 2011 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Chasing 272 for a win, Ireland were bowled out for 141 and JP Duminy was declared the man of the match for his superb resurrection.
273 was going to be tough cookie to crack and when both openers, William Porterfield and Paul Stirling departed for 19, the task became only stiffer. There were starts from all the batsmen in the top-order but only one – Gary Wilson – managed to get to more than 20 as the rest of the side capitulated to the spin of Robin Peterson. Morkel picked up three wickets as well to end the Irish hopes.
Robin Peterson was clearly the pick of the bowlers with a three-wicket haul that also included the wicket of Kevin O’Brien.
Earlier South Africa were off to a flying start thanks to the decision by Hashim Amla to take the attack to the opposition. Amla cracked a boundary and a six and looked good for much more before he cut the ball to the third-man where the fielder took it cleanly to send him back.
Graeme Smith added 28 for the second wicket with Morne van Wyk and at 52/1 the side looked good. Van Wyk looked every bit the batsman that one had come to associate him with in 2007 as he slammed seven fours and a six in his 42 but his dismissal led to a mini collapse that saw the side capitulate to 117/5.
Jacques Kallis was run-out and as was captain Smith, while Faf du Plessis edged one to the slips.
However, any hopes that the Irish have of stunning the South Africans, evaporated pretty soon when the JP Duminy piled on a good-looking 99 with Colin Ingram (46). This was Ingram’s first ever World Cup game and he looked very good for the time he was at the crease. The boundaries were easily found his knock came off only 43 balls.
In the end, Duminy fell short of his century by a run but in partnership with first Ingram and then Johan Botha, had done enough to take the score to 271/7 in their 50 overs.
The win ensured that the South Africans became the first side from their group to make it to the quarter-finals. They now play Bangladesh in the last group game of the tournament in a bid to ensure that they finish atop of the points table. On the other hand, Ireland have now been knocked out of the tournament despite having one more game to be played against Netherlands.
If South Africa beat Bangladesh, they will end the group with ten points from their six games and unless West Indies can beat both, England and India, they will be at the top of the table. This will mean that South Africa will take on the number four placed side in the other group, which could still be any one of New Zealand, Sri Lanka or Pakistan. Assuming that Australia should easily beat Canada in tomorrow’s game, they will not end in the fourth position and that could mean that South Africa will not meet Australia in the quarter-finals.
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