SA qualify for World Cup quarters
South Africa qualified for the World Cup quarterfinals after they thumped Ireland by 131-runs in their Group B match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India, on Tuesday.
JP Duminy led the way for South Africa as he scored 99 in the Proteas’ total of 272 for seven before left-arm spinner Robin Peterson and paceman Morne Morkel shared six wickets as Ireland were bowled out for 141 in 33.2 overs.
The win moved South Africa to the top of Group B, on eight points, one ahead of India, with one group match, against Bangladesh on Saturday, remaining.
"We wanted to qualify. We've got one round robin game left against Bangladesh and hopefully three good games in the knockout phase. We've done the first part of it now," said South Africa captain Graeme Smith.
The loss ended Ireland’s faint hopes of advancing to the knockout stages of the tournament.
"We started off pretty well. We got couple of wickets up front. We thought it was important to get wickets to peg them back and I thought we did that pretty much throughout," said Ireland captain William Porterfield.
"We were happy enough at half-time with chasing 270. It was not out of our reach but we consistently lost wickets."
DUMINY, INGRAM TO THE RESCUE
Duminy fell in the last over of South Africa’s innings, after facing 103 balls, when he was caught at mid-on by a diving Kevin O’Brien off the bowling of seamer John Mooney, but the left-hander’s knock helped the Proteas to a challenging total after they had slipped to 117 for five.
Colin Ingram, making his World Cup debut in place of the injured AB de Villiers, aided Duminy in his rescue effort as the pair put on 87 runs for the sixth-wicket before Ingram, who scored 46 at better than a run-a-ball, was bowled by paceman Trent Johnston.
Johan Botha (21 not out) and Duminy then added 65 runs off 10 overs before Duminy fell in search of quick runs.
Ireland won the toss and elected to field and the decision paid almost immediate dividends when Hashim Amla (18) was caught at third man off a delivery from the tall fast bowler Boyd Rankin.
Morne van Wyk was promoted to three in the batting order and he rode his luck in scoring a run-a-ball 42 as he was dropped twice, with his score on four and 23.
MIXED FIELDING EFFORTS
Ireland’s catching may have been a touch suspect but their ground fielding was superb and Smith (seven) was run out at the non-striker’s end thanks to a direct hit from Mooney fielding at midwicket.
Van Wyk was then bowled by left-arm spinner George Dockrell before Jacques Kallis (19) became the second South Africa batsmen to be run out after a wonderful piece of fielding from Porterfield at short cover.
Porterfield dived to stop the ball and, in the same movement, whipped in a throw to keeper Niall O’Brien who whipped the bails off with Kallis just short of his ground.
Duminy, given South Africa’s situation, was initially a touch circumspect during his innings and he brought up his 12th one-day international fifty off 67 balls with just two fours, but he eventually struck seven fours and a six as the Proteas fought their way back into the match.
Ireland’s spinners Dockrell, with one for 37, and offie Paul Stirling, with one for 45, were the pick of the bowlers on a pitch which was a touch two-paced.
Ireland’s innings never gained any momentum as they struggled to 51 for four with Morkel picking up two wickets in an impressive new-ball spell before the lanky quick finished with figures of three for 33 off 5.2 overs.
Kevin O’Brien (19) and Gary Wilson (31) steadied the innings somewhat with a fifth-wicket stand of 41 but Peterson removed both men in the space of three balls when he had Kevin O’Brien caught at long-on before he trapped Wilson leg-before.
Peterson eventually claimed three for 32 off eight overs, when he added the wicket of Alex Cusack (7) as Ireland lost their last five wickets for 49 runs.
South Africa - Graeme Smith (capt), Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, JP Duminy, Colin Ingram, Faf du Plessis, Morne van Wyk (wk), Johan Botha, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel.
Ireland - William Porterfield (capt), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O'Brien (wk), Gary Wilson, Kevin O'Brien, Alex Cusack, John Mooney, Trent Johnston, George Dockrell, Boyd Rankin.