South Africa set new standards at the World Cup

Amla, du Plessis score tons as the Proteas cross 400 for the second game running to beat Ireland by 201 runs.

    Alma (left) and du Plessis put on 247 for the second wicket [Reuters]
    Alma (left) and du Plessis put on 247 for the second wicket [Reuters]

    South Africa put one foot in the World Cup quarter-finals by batting past the 400-run mark for the second successive match to hand Ireland a thumping defeat by 201 runs with five overs to spare at Manuka Oval.

    Hashim Amla hit his highest ODI score with a majestic 159 and Faf du Plessis grabbed a century to drive the Proteas to 411 for four before Ireland, despite some stiff resistance from their middle and lower orders, were dismissed for 210.

    That victory had been set up by AB de Villiers' 162 in a total of 408 for five but on Tuesday it was opener Amla who led the way as South Africa fell just two runs short of the World Cup record innings tally.

    Missed chances

    The record would surely have fallen had Irish off-spinner Andy McBrine not removed Amla and de Villiers (24), the two top-ranked batsmen in the world, in three balls in the 42nd over.

    Amla had been dropped on 10 and should have been run out on 104 but otherwise batted with his trademark calmness and at one stage it looked like he would match Chris Gayle's double century on the same pitch last Tuesday.

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    As measured as his captain de Villiers is explosive, Amla reached his 20th one-day century at a run-a-ball in a partnership of 247 with Du Plessis - a record second-wicket stand for South Africa.

    Amla has scored his 20 ODI centuries in fewer innings than any other batsman, taking 108 knocks compared to the 133 it took India's Virat Kohli to reach the mark.

    South Africa's firepower

    Ireland's renown as a side capable of chasing big targets was always going to be sorely tested by a South African bowling unit led by Dale Steyn, who took 2-39 in his 100th one-day international.

    The paceman, bowling at speeds approaching the 150 kph mark, picked up two early wickets and Kyle Abbott pitched in with three to reduce Ireland to 48-5 in the 11th over.

    Andrew Balbirnie and Kevin O'Brien stopped the rot with a 81-run partnership that ended when the former was caught in the deep by Rossouw off Morne Morkel for 58.


    South Africa 411-4 in 50 overs (Amla 159, McBine 2-63)

    Ireland 210 all out in 45 overs (Balbirnie 58, Morkel 3-34)

    South Africa vs Ireland scoring rate

    SOURCE: Reuters


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