Saturday 25 November 2017

Cricket: Duminy leads South Africa fightback

JP Duminy scored a valiant 99. Photo: Getty Images
JP Duminy scored a valiant 99. Photo: Getty Images

JP Duminy's valiant 99 helped South Africa battle through a top-half batting failure against Ireland's disciplined bowling to reach 272 for seven in their World Cup Group B game at Kolkata today.

Having won the toss, the Irish made full use of their outfield prowess with two run outs helping to reduce their opponents to 117 for five.

Duminy's blitz in the latter stages led a commendable fightback from the Proteas, as he smashed half-a-dozen boundaries and a six during his 103-ball innings, which centred around crucial partnerships with Colin Ingram (46 off 43 balls) and Johan Botha (21 off 28 balls).

Opting to bowl first under overcast conditions at the Eden Gardens, Boyd Rankin won the battle of minds against Hashim Amla in the opening exchanges, the fiery opener's slash caught by George Dockrell at third man.

The fielding faltered only temporarily when Morne van Wyk was dropped twice, but John Mooney made amends with a direct hit to have Graeme Smith run out.

Van Wyk had steadied after his lifelines to build a patient 42, but Dockrell had him bowled before another run-out saw dangerman Jacques Kallis depart for just 19.

Their confidence running high, Ireland halted the Proteas' recovery again with Paul Stirling having Faf du Plessis snared at slip, but Duminy and Ingram finally provided some respite with an 87-run stand.

Both batsmen overcame slow starts to frustrate Ireland as Ingram struck six boundaries for his quickfire 46 off 43 before being bowled by Trent Johnston.

Duminy held his nerves build another useful partnership for South Africa - alongside Botha - helping them add a precious 41 in the batting powerplay.

But himself fell cruelly short of his maiden World Cup century in the very last over to a brilliant running catch by Kevin O Brien.

Press Association

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