Match Preview: South Africa vs Ireland
Manuka Oval, Canberra
If you look at the two sides on paper, and their cricketing pedigree, this match should be a called off as a no-contest. But until Ireland get regular cricket from the game's governing body, they will continue to punch above their weight and give teams a massive scare.
For South Africa, JP Duminy and Vernon Philander missed the last encounter against the West Indies due to injuries and their replacements, Rilee Rossouw and Kyle Abbott, did fairly well. They could opt to take caution and name the same side.
Ireland should not change much from the side that beat the UAE at the Gabba in Brisbane in the last over. Alex Cusack came in for Andy McBrine for the UAE match.
The last clash between the two countries was at the last World Cup in 2011, but their last encounter outside of a global event was in 2007, in Belfast. The match was reduced to a 31-over game because of rain, and South Africa scored 173 for four in their allotted overs.
Ireland could only muster 131 all out in the run-chase as seam bowler, Vernon Philander, who was making his debut, claimed figures of four for 12 in six overs.
World Cup meetings
Their last match was at Eden Gardens in Kolkata at the 2011 World Cup in India. South Africa beat Ireland by a comfortable 131 runs. Batting first, the Proteas scored 272 for seven with JP Duminy scoring 99.
Ireland folded in the chase, succumbing meekly to be bowled out for 141 inside 34 overs. Gary Wilson top-scored with 31, but Morne Morkel and Robin Peterson took three wickets each.
South Africa need opening batsman and wicketkeeper Quinton De Kock to start performing with the bat. He is not giving the side the starts they usually get when he is on song. The Proteas will hope he gets back into some sort of touch with the knock-out matches looming.
Ireland's key player could well be 22 year-old left-arm spinner George Dockrell. With the AB de Villiers and the Proteas middle-order in good form, it will up to Dockrell to tie them down and perhaps take wickets.
Steve Davis and Ranmore Martinesz, Ian Gould (Third umpire), Roshan Mahanama (Match referee)
Warm weather of 29 degrees is forecast with no rain expected.
Ireland have the ability to cause an upset, but South Africa will need to have a very bad off-day. The Proteas just have to much class players, and it seems some-one will step up to the plate, so South Africa to win.
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