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South Africa in World Cup quarters with clinical display against Ireland

Tuesday March 15, 2011 10:58:00 PM, Sirshendu Panth, IANS

Kolkata: Jean-Paul Duminy missed a well-deserved ton by a single as South Africa cantered into the quarterfinals of the 2011 cricket World Cup with an emphatic 131-run win over Ireland in a Group B game here Tuesday.

Facing a South African total of 272/7, Ireland never recovered from early setbacks and folded up for 141 in 33.2 overs in a one-sided game at the Eden Gardens.

South African pacer Morne Morkel picked up a wicket apiece in his first two overs to leave Ireland tottering at 19/2. The procession continued as the Irish willowers played poor shots to gift away their wickets, failing to negotiate the pace and spin of the South African bowlers.

Left-arm spinner Robin Peterson finished with 3/32 and Morkel got 3/33, while Jacques Kallis bagged two wickets.

Part time off-spinner Duminy got rid of Trent Johnston (12) to add further luster to his dazzling batting show in the afternoon and walked away with the Man of the Match award.

Ireland, who have put up spirited fights in their earlier matches and even upset England, are now out of the tournament with two points from five games.

South Africa would now take on Bangladesh at Dhaka March 19 to wrap up their group engagements. A victory will enable Graeme Smith's side to emerge group champions and settle for a clash with the fourth placed team in Group A.

Duminy was dismissed at 99 but rescued South Africa from the woods to a position of strength.

In trouble at 119 for five, South Africa reaped the fruits of a flawless 103-ball innings from the 26-year-old left-hander, who was involved in two important partnerships -- 87 with World Cup debutant Colin Ingram (46) and 65 with Johan Botha (21) -- to enable his side post 272 for seven before a crowd of 20,000-odd.

Duminy's knock, studded with half-a-dozen boundaries and a huge six off fit-again Irish pacer Trent Johnston, ended two balls before the innings closed. The Cape Town-born batsman, eyeing his maiden World Cup hundred, went for a slog and skied the ball, only to finish in the hands of John Mooney, who ran back quite a distance to lap up the catch near mid-on.

South Africa, who have lost only five of their last 22 ODIs since February last year, set Ireland a challenging asking rate of 5.46 during an afternoon session that saw riveting cricket. Dropped catches, close run outs, batting collapses, spectacular shots, valiant rescue efforts, the odd ball skidding and a light drizzle gave the spectators watching this World Cup's first match at the historic venue their money's worth.

Put in, the South Africans lost opener Hashim Amla (18) in the fifth over, while skipper Graeme Smith (7) looked cautious from the start but failed to get out of his lean patch.

Wicketkeeper batsman Morne Van Wyk (42) was lucky to be dropped twice, a rare poor show from the Irish fielders. Wyk was outplotted by left-arm spinner George Dockrell as South Africa slid to 84 for three in the 16th over.

The Irish fielders made up for their bloomers in the air with fine ground fielding, effecting two run outs that saw the backs of Smith and Jacques Kallis (19).

Faf du Plessis (11) was also out cheaply, as Ireland seemed to have their tails up before Duminy changed the script.

For Ireland, spinners Dockrell and Paul Stirling kept the batsmen on a tight leash in the middle overs, besides picking up a wicket each.





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