South Africa skipper AB de Villiers won the toss and opted to send his unchanged side in to bat first in their World Cup Pool B match against Ireland at Manuka Oval today.
Ireland are unbeaten after their first two matches at the World Cup but will have their work cut out to upset a South African side who rebounded from defeat to India with a savaging of West Indies last week.
De Villiers comes into the match in a rich vein of form after smashing West Indies for 162 in 66 balls at the Sydney Cricket Ground last Friday and will be relishing the chance to bat at a ground where Chris Gayle hit a record 215 last Tuesday.
With JP Duminy still not over his side strain, Rilee Rossouw, who hit a bright 61 to start the onslaught on the West Indies bowlers, retains his place in the side.
Kyle Abbott continues to stand-in for the injured Vernon Philander in a pace attack led by Dale Steyn, who plays his 100th one-day international.
“Looks like a good pitch. We just looked at the wicket, and thought batting first will suit our team today,” De Villiers said at the toss.
“JP is still not 100 percent fit yet. He is batting in the nets and bowling a bit, just too late to push him in.”
The Irish made one change to the side that beat United Arab Emirates by two wickets in their last outing, bringing off-spinner Andy McBrine back in for paceman Alex Cusack to restore the line-up that stunned West Indies in their opener.
“We’d have liked to have had a bat but we’ve chased pretty well in the tournament so far,” skipper William Porterfield said.
Here are highlights of Cricket World cup: SA vs Ireland
South Africa innings:
30th over – Amla and du Plessis continue to rotate the strike well and build a solid foundation for a big score for the South Africans. SA: 181-1
28th over – Dockrell had slowed the scoring from one end, holding the batsmen to three runs off the over. SA: 172-1
24th over – Amla hits six-six-four off the first three balls and du Plessis adds a six of his own as the struggling Sorenson leaks 24 runs in his fourth over. SA: 152-1
22nd over – Sorenson returns and Amla immediately attacks him with a slogged four. SA: 124-1
20th over – Du Plessis takes a single to bring up the century partnership and another for his 15th half century in ODIs. SA: 115-1
18th over – Du Plessis pulls a short Dockrell offering over midwicket for four to get South Africa over the 100 mark with his fifth boundary. SA: 102-1
17th over – Square cut for three runs off Andy McBrine gives Amla his 29th half century in one-day internationals. SA: 96-1
15th over – Amla drives the ball through point for his seventh four. SA: 80-1
11th over – Du Plessis gets a thick outside edge on Paul Stirling’s fifth delivery but the ball flies between the wicketkeeper and first slip and runs for four. SA: 64-1
10th over – First spinner into the attack for the Irish in the shape of George Dockrell. Six off his first over to conclude the powerplay. SA: 57-1
9th over – Mooney concludes his opening spell with figures of 1-9 off five overs with two maidens. SA: 51-1
8th over – Amla looks determined to compound Joyce’s misery and plunders O’Brien for a single and two fours to move to 30 not out. SA: 48-1
6th over – Kevin O’Brien comes on for Sorensen and nearly has Amla caught off his first delivery. Ed Joyce looks crestfallen after putting it down at mid-wicket. SA: 36-1
4th over – Nine runs off Sorensen’s second over, including a first boundary for Faf du Plessis through the covers. SA: 21-1
3rd over – Mooney makes an early breakthrough by dismissing De Kock caught behind for one. Umpire turns down the initial appeal but Ireland ask for a review and technology reveals a nick off the bat. Wicket maiden. SA: 12-1
2nd over – Max Sorensen struggles to find his range and bowls three wides. Quinton de Kock gets off the mark with a single before Amla hits the first two boundaries, the second just wide of a diving William Porterfield at point. SA: 12-0
1st over – Seamer John Mooney opens the contest with a maiden to Hashim Amla. SA: 0-0
South Africa – Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Rilee Rossouw, AB de Villiers (captain), David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Kyle Abbott, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.
Ireland – William Porterfield (captain), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O’Brien, Andrew Balbirnie, Gary Wilson, Kevin O’Brien, John Mooney, Max Sorensen, George Dockrell, Andy McBrine.