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Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis’ Tons Guide Proteas Inflict 201-run Defeat on Ireland

world cup trophyNew Delhi, Wednesday, March 4 – It has been 18 days when keenly awaited Cricket World Cup 2015 started in Australia and New Zealand as these two being the hosts. Whether accept it or not but the ongoing tournament is not catching the eyes asexpected before it kicked off during mid-Feb. Attendance of the viewers in stands gets good only when strong teams play against each other as slated.

Audience strength in India & Pakistan match, Australia vs. New Zealand, India vs. South Africa, England vs. Australia was impressive. People came along with flags of their countries to cheer up and boost confidence of players. However, on the other hand, the figures aren’t exciting in other contests. Same sort of scenario was visible a day ago as well at Manuka Oval, Canberra, wherein South Africa were to compete against Ireland.

Nothing could have been better for Proteas to win the toss and elect to bat first in opposition to Ireland as a humongous total was required to make the former to improve its net run rate. And guess what? Same happened! South African skipper AB de Villiers won the toss and invited Irish cricketers to bowl. Giving a quick jolt to South Africa, John Mooney made wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock to leave the crease at a score of 1. His flop showed continued once again. In contrast, they got lesser chances to jump in joy given that the opener Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis pocketed tons, creating huge trouble for Ireland, a team that is popular for playing most unpredictable game against the top squads.

Prior failing to read a bowl by Kevin O’Brien in 39th over, Faf du Plessis played an innings of 109 runs in 109 balls, together with 4 boundaries and a six. Amla was the next batsman dismissed by Andy McBrine, however, his astonishing knock of 159 runs of just 128 balls almost ended all hopes for the Ireland. SA captain, though, played a small inning but changed all equations by scoring 24 runs in 9 balls, which included a couple of sixes and one boundary. McBrine got his crucial wicket at a right time otherwise things could have been worse for his team. Problems for the bowling squad did not end post Villiers’ wicket. Unbeaten knocks of David Miller (46 runs of 23 balls; 4 x 4 and 6 x 2) and Rilee Rossouw (61 runs of 30 balls; 4 x 6 and 6 x 3) hit the final nail in the coffin for Ireland. If truth be told, bombarding play was exhibited by South African cricketers in opposition to weak bowling by the ‘Men in Green’.

After 50 overs, 411 runs were accumulated by the ‘Playing XI’ which got the chance to bat first for the loss of 4 wickets. No patience was shown by Ireland while chasing the massive total. Paul Stirling was the first to go at 9 runs. William Porterfield, the Captain of Ireland, fell short to Kyle Abbott at 12 runs, which comprised two 4s. The new batsman Ed Joyce failed to do any magic on the 22 yards pitch since he was out for a duck, succumbing to Dale Steyn. Niall O’Brien threw his crucial wicket to Kyle Abbott.

Gary Wilson was out for a zero when Abbott’s delivery surprised him. Andy Balbirnie, who played a knock of 58 runs in 71 balls, and Kevin O’Brien with 48 runs (4 x 3 and 6 x 1) held the fort before being out by Morne Morkel and Abbott, respectively, nevertheless, it was too late for them to remove the pressure. Lower order batsmen also did not succeed to improve certain things. John Mooney lost his wicket to Villiers, whereas both George Dockrell and Max Sorensen were sent back to the pavilion by the 30-year-old Morkel. Andy McBrine remained not out at 2 runs. The whole Ireland team was out at a score of 210 runs, letting the rivals inflict a humiliating loss of 201 runs on them in a crucial face-off. India are yet leading the points table with 6 points in 3 matches, while South Africa at second spot with similar figures in 4 games.

West Indies and Ireland are correspondingly holding 3rd and 4th place. Pool A is led by New Zealand. Sri Lanka are in strong positions as well. Since only few matches are left to qualify for the quarterfinals, none team would like to miss the opportunity to pocket victory whenever possible at any cost. An interesting competition is scheduled for this Friday as India and the Caribbean are all set to put their best foot forward. All eyes are struck on the result which would help one of the two teams to keep the morale up. Let us wait and watch who wins the next game.

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