South Africa have also beaten Ireland just like India did on the same pitch at the Civil Service Cricket Club in Stormont. The Jacques Kallis led Proteas won by 42 runs in a rain truncated affair that got underway after a delay of five and a half hours! It was a satisfying victory for the South Africa because one of its two new players had performed well.
There was enough time still in hand for a 31-overs game to be played. However the outfield had taken a beating because of the persistent rain. The wicket also became very slow making it difficult for the batsmen to play their shots freely. Ireland put SA in with the conditions suiting swing bowling. The new opening combination of Morne van Wyk and AB de Villiers gave a solid start putting on 75 for the first wicket in over 12 overs. De Villiers kept the momentum going with 40 from 35 balls with 6 fours. It wasn’t a blazing innings from any of the South African batsmen who were pegged back by the slow nature of the wicket and also the smart Irish bowling.
Captain Kallis scored a near run-a-ball 46 with 2 fours and a six while Morne van Wyk anchored the innings with 52 from 84 with 5 fours. Justin Kemp gave the finishing touches to the innings with 18 that took SA to 173 for 4. Australian born Alex Cussack, who was also making his debut was the most successful bowler with 3 for 15 from 4 overs for his medium pace which later gave him the Man of the Match award. Among the batsmen, Gibbs (2) was the only one to miss out in making anything significant.
Chasing runs at over 5.50 is not that tough and Ireland therefore had an opportunity to cause an upset. The start from the two opening batsmen – Porterfield (17) and Carroll (21) did create hopes of an Irish win with 45 on the board. But Dale Steyn spoilt the day by taking two wickets in the same over and then Ireland could never ever recover. Newbie Vernon Philander who has got the honour of making his ODI Debut on his birthday enjoyed success straightaway ending up with 4 for 12 in 5.5 overs. Ireland after a promising start were skittled out in nearly 31 overs for 131. Cusack, the Ireland debutant followed his bowling efforts with an unbeaten 36 which also had a six.