South Africa are rapidly beginning to hit their stride in this ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. After thumping West Indies in their last game by posting a 400-plus score, the Proteas did it again, this time against Ireland, and, crucially, without too much help from Superman AB De Villiers.
Hashim Amla, the other world class act in South Africa's batting lineup, did have his say though, stroking a beautiful hundred, with Faf Du Plessis, under a touch of pressure for runs, also getting a century of his own to end the game before the second innings even started.
Rilee Rossouw and David Miller's smash-bang performance in the final overs only rubbed salt into the Ireland wounds, with that assault taking South Africa to a massive 411/4 in 50 overs.
Ireland's chase was done and dusted by the first Powerplay, with Dale Steyn and Kyle Abbott running through the top order. From there it was just a matter of time before the match was won by South Africa, with the only question by how many runs – the answer to that would in the final ball of the 45th over, with Ireland bowled out for 210 runs, 201 runs short of South Africa's total.
South Africa's innings was a thing of beauty, with Amla playing like only Amla can and Du Plessis hitting his range as well, while more than being happy to play second fiddle to his opener.
The innings might have been ugly, though, had Ed Joyce hung on to a simple catch at midwicket, which would have given Kevin O'Brien, who became Ireland's most capped player, the prized wicket of Amla when he was on just 10. Instead, the catch was grassed, and Amla needed no more lives to make Ireland pay.
Amla and Du Plessis put on 247 runs together in 36 overs after Quinton de Kock's poor CWC continued, and with a platform like that there was no way the rest of the Proteas batsmen were going to not take advantage.
After Du Plessis fell for 109 (109b, 10x4, 1x6) to Kevin O'Brien in the 39th over, De Villiers (24, 9b, 1x4, 2x6) came in and immediately looked in smashing touch. With a couple of sixes and a four, it looked like it was going to be another one of those days for the bowlers while bowling to the great man, but much to Ireland's relief and the crowd's disappointment the right-handed slugger fell to Andy McBrine, a couple of balls after Amla (159, 128b, 16x4, 4x6) fell.
With those two quick wickets from McBrine, Ireland thought they were back in the game, but, not for long, as Rossouw and Miller added 110 runs in just 8.3 overs to put the match out of sight.
Ireland would have known the target was well beyond them, but they also would have wanted to put up a bit of a fight. Steyn had other ideas, however, picking up Stirling via an outside edge, which was missed by the umpire for the second time in the match, with Abbott joining in soon after.
Abbot, who is making it extremely difficult for Vernon Philander to get back in the side when he is fit again, sent skipper William Porterfield packing, before Steyn had his second caught behind, this time Ed Joyce getting that dreaded edge.
At 21/3, Ireland were already down and out, and Abbott made sure of that with a couple more wickets, and despite decent knocks from Andrew Balbirnie (58, 71b, 7x4) and Kevin O'Brien (48, 65b, 3x4, 1x6), South Africa celebrated a second straight big win.
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