Auckland, March 24(IANS) - South Africa captain AB de Villiers won the toss and elected…
South Africa skipper AB de Villiers won the toss and opted to send his unchanged side in to bat first in their World Cup Pool B match against Ireland at Manuka Oval on Tuesday.
Ireland are unbeaten after their first two matches at the World Cup but will have their work cut out to upset a South African side who rebounded from defeat to India with a savaging of West Indies last week. De Villiers comes into the match in a rich vein of form after smashing West Indies for 162 in 66 balls at the Sydney Cricket Ground last Friday and will be relishing the chance to bat at a ground where Chris Gayle hit a record 215 last Tuesday.
With JP Duminy still not over his side strain, Rilee Rossouw, who hit a bright 61 to start the onslaught on the West Indies bowlers, retains his place in the side. Kyle Abbott continues to stand-in for the injured Vernon Philander in a pace attack led by Dale Steyn, who plays his 100th one-day international.
“Looks like a good pitch. We just looked at the wicket, and thought batting first will suit our team today,” De Villiers said at the toss. “JP is still not 100 percent fit yet. He is batting in the nets and bowling a bit, just too late to push him in.”
The Irish made one change to the side that beat United Arab Emirates by two wickets in their last outing, bringing off-spinner Andy McBrine back in for paceman Alex Cusack to restore the line-up that stunned West Indies in their opener. “We’d have liked to have had a bat but we’ve chased pretty well in the tournament so far,” skipper William Porterfield said.
South Africa – Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Rilee Rossouw, AB de Villiers (captain), David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Kyle Abbott, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.
Ireland – William Porterfield (captain), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O’Brien, Andrew Balbirnie, Gary Wilson, Kevin O’Brien, John Mooney, Max Sorensen, George Dockrell, Andy McBrine.