Given the Proteas’ comprehensive tonking of the West Indies, courtesy of captain AB de Villiers’ supreme batting prowess, that optimism may be misplaced…
Meanwhile, CricketIreland talked to Ireland captain William Porterfield, John Mooney, and coach Phil Simmons ahead of the game.
When asked about the prospect of facing a player in such great form, John Mooney was keen to point out that [AB de Villiers] wasn’t the only top class player in South Africa’s side.
“All the talk is about AB after what he did last week, which was incredible, but they’ve got a lot of good players, so it’s about just trying to execute our plans and not get too worried about who they’ve got.”
Phil Simmons also pointed out that de Villiers will not be receiving any special treatment ahead of the match, with the team working on playing against the whole team rather than one individual.
“We just work out how we want to bowl to him, same as we work out how we bowl to the other seven or eight batters and that’s the way we’ve been taking it.
“We did the same thing with Chris Gayle, who is a menace too, so we just take it like that and work out how we want to bowl to them, if we bowl well and they score a hundred, then that’s just the game.”
Skipper William Porterfield also spoke about the need to address all of South Africa’s players, but also the importance of focusing attention inwards as oppose to on the opposition.
It’s around the half-way point in the group stage, and the BBC assess what we’ve learned. What we do know is that Ireland have won their two opening games, whereas England, captained by former Ireland batsman Eoin Morgan, have lost to Australia and New Zealand, beaten Scotland, and lost heavily to Sri Lanka. But a win by either of the two sides in their remaining fixtures will probably see them through to the knock-out stage.
As for Ireland and South Africa, third and second respectively in their group, both teams have 4 points from their games so far. South Africa have played three games to Ireland’s two – they lost to India in Melbourne before the West Indies match – and have the better Net Run Rate (NRR).
Update South Africa won the toss and decided to bat, setting a daunting total of 411 for 4 from their 50 overs. AB de Villiers with 24 runs from 9 balls.
Chasing 412 to win, Ireland are 210 all out from 45 overs.
South Africa win by 201 runs.