CANBERRA: Opener Hashim Amla scored 159 and Faf du Plessis scored 109 as South Africa crossed 400-mark for the second time in the ongoing World Cup scoring 411-4 and to eventually beat Ireland formidably by 201 runs here Tuesday at Manuka Oval.
South Africa, who scored 408-5 against West Indies on February 27, fell only two run short to record highest World Cup total. India scored 413-5 against Bermuda in World Cup 2007.
Chasing a mammoth target of 412 runs, Ireland was reduced to 48-5 in 11th over. Pacer Dale Steyn removed opener Paul Sterling (9) after the batsman edged to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock. Pacer Kyle Abbott captured captain William Porterfield’s (12) wicket after Du Plessis took his catch.
Steyn then removed Ed Joyce for a duck when Amla took his catch. Niall O’Brian became the fourth victim when Amla took his catch off Abbott’s delivery. He scored only 14 runs. Wicketkeeper Gary Wilson was the fifth Irish batsman to lose his wicket cheaply after Abbott removed him lbw for a duck.
However, Andy Balbirnie and Kevin O’Brien saved their side from breaking their own previous worst ever defeat record. New Zealand recorded biggest 290-run victory against Ireland in 2008.
The duo added 81 runs for the sixth wicket partnership to take the score to 129 in 26th over before Bilbirnie (58) lost his wicket to Morne Morkel as Rilee Rossouw took his catch.
AB de Villiers then bowled John Mooney (8) with Ireland’s scorecard showing 150-7 in 30.2 overs. O’Brien was next to follow Mooney back to pavilion after Rossouw took his catch off Abbott.
Tail-enders George Dockrell and Max Sorensen (22) added 33 more runs to just reach 200-mark before Sorensen lost his wicket when De Kock took his catch off Morkel’s delivery.
Dockrell (25) was the last Irish batsman to lose wicket after Morkel bowled him with Ireland’s scorecard showing 210-10 in 45 overs.
Earlier, South Africa lost its wicket-keeper batsman De Kock early with only 12 runs on board. The opener scored only one run.
But Amla found an able partner in Faf du Plessis and the duo went on to add 247 runs before Du Plessis lost his wicket. Kevin O’Brien bowled Du Plessis out after he had scored run-a-ball 109 with the help of ten boundaries and a six.
Amla was the next to return to pavilion after Ed Joyce took his catch off Andy McBrine delivery. But by then, Amla had done the damage scoring 159 off 128 balls with the help of 16 boundaries and four sixes with team’s total of 299-3 in 41.1 overs.
Skipper AB de Villiers (24), who knocked 66-ball 162 against West Indies, started well with a boundary and a couple of sixes before losing his wicket also to McBrine as Kevin O’Brien took his wicket, soon after Amla.
Rilee Rossouw (61 not out) smashed six boundaries and three sixes while David Miller (46 not out) knocked four boundaries and two sixes and added 110 more runs to the scoreboard off only 51 balls. Rossouw faced 30 balls while Miller faced 23 balls.
South Africa has recorded its third win in four matches while Ireland conceded first defeat in third outing. Proteas is sitting just below India in Pool B points table, in second position with six points each. Ireland also has four points just as third placed West Indies, but the former World Champions is ahead of Ireland, who defeated them earlier, with better run-rate.