Thursday 26 April 2018

Cricket: Proteas progress as Ireland bow out

Ireland's exit from the World Cup was confirmed today after a below-par batting display saw them go down by 131 runs to South Africa in Kolkata.

After winning the toss, Ireland's disciplined effort in the field - that saw South Africa on 117 for five at one stage - was first undone by JP Duminy, who blazed his way to 99 off 103 balls to lead his side to 272.

The Irish misery continued with the bat, as Morne Morkel and Robin Peterson grabbed three wickets each, while Jacques Kallis gook two to condemn Ireland to defeat in the 34th over.

The win also ensured South Africa's passage to the quarter-finals with Ireland due to play a dead-rubber tie on Friday against Holland, who currently prop up the table.

Opting to bowl first, 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 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 built well on his luck for a patient 42, but Dockrell had him bowled before another run-out saw dangerman 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 Colin 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 nerve to build another useful partnership for South Africa - 61 along with Johan Botha (21 off 28 balls) - before falling short of his maiden World Cup century in the very last over.

There was disappointment for Ireland from the very start of the run-chase, as Morne Morkel sent back openers William Porterfield and Stirling, and Kallis had Niall O'Brien caught behind, all in the space of 10 overs.

Ed Joyce was the next to depart and just as Ireland had begun the slow march to stability, Peterson spun the old ball to devastating effect.

He left Ireland reeling at 107 for seven by first dispatching the settled pair of Kevin O' Brien (19) and Gary Wilson (seven) - who had a promising 41-run stand - in the same over, followed soon after by Alex Cusack (seven).

Johnston (12), Mooney (14) and Dockrell (16) only served to delay the inevitable Morkel fittingly grabbing the final scalp to bowl Ireland out for 141.

Press Association

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