Millennium Post

Ireland face De Villiers threat in clash vs Proteas

Ireland face De Villiers threat in clash vs Proteas
On a roll after two wins, Ireland will face their biggest challenge of tackling a rampaging AB de Villiers when they clash against South Africa in a pool B match of the cricket World Cup here on Tuesday.

With victories over the West Indies and UAE, Ireland have so far proved that they are no pushovers but their dreams of making it to the knockout stage will face a tough test against South Africa.

It is mighty de Villiers, who poses the biggest threat, especially after his annihilation of the West Indies bowlers with a 66-ball off 162-run knock which was studded with 17 fours and eight sixes in Sydney.

Pre-tournament favourites South Africa’s 257-run win against the West Indies has boosted their campaign after their stunning 130-run loss to defending champion India at the MCG a week ago.

During the match, South Africa’s top-order batsmen Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and Rilee Rossouw — all got runs and it will take a special effort from the Irish bowlers to tame the Proteas applecart on Tuesday.

Ireland has improved by leaps and bounds under their West Indies coach Phil Simmons and they will take heart from their last two performances to give South Africa a run for their money to keep their campaign on track.

The fact that Ireland comfortably chased down a huge 304-run target against the West Indies with four wickets and 25 balls to spare will give them a lot of confidence.

Ireland batsmen — Paul Stirling (92), Ed Joyce (84) and Niall O’Brien (79 not out), too got runs under their belt during the victory over the West Indies and they will look to pose a good total if they get a chance to bat first at the batting friendly Manuka Oval wicket. For South Africa, poor form of their pace spearhead Dale Steyn is a big worry even though leg-spinner Imran Tahir have made himself counted with nine wickets so far in the tournament. “It excited me the way we played against the West Indies,” said Ireland coach Simmons.
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