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
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
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