Tarouba (Trinidad), Jan 22 (IANS) South Africa skipper George Van Heerden led from the front, smashing a 93-ball 111 as he helped his team secure a Super League quarterfinal berth with a 153-run win over Ireland in a Group B match at the Brian Lara Stadium here on Saturday (IST).
Van Heerden’s 111 and Dewald Brevis’s 96 helped the Proteas score a mammoth 315/7 from their rain-reduced 47 overs before bowling out Ireland for 158 in 33 overs. Matthew Boast (3/26) and Liam Alder (3/20) were the standout bowlers for South Africa as they secured the second spot in Group B and, with it, a Super League berth.
The two sides started their winner-takes-all final Group B game level on points, with South Africa having a slight net run-rate (NRR) advantage. With India all but assured of their place in the Super League last-eight ahead of their final game against Uganda, South Africa and Ireland faced a shootout for second place.
Ireland made an encouraging start when Reuben Wilson removed South African opener Valentine Kitime in the first over for a duck before Liam Doherty bowled Ethan-John Cunningham (11). At 18/2 after four overs, South Africa were in dire straits but Brevis restored order and moved to 27 from 29 balls with two boundaries to take his side to 53/2 after 10 overs.
Ireland responded by taking the wicket of Gerhardus Maree (14) as Wilson struck again. It brought Van Heerden to the crease to form a steady partnership with Brevis. Brevis continued to score boundaries at regular intervals as Van Heerden provided support from the other end.
But just four runs short of his century, Brevis played a loose cut shot off Scott MacBeth, with Matthew Humphreys’ diving catch at gully sending the South African packing on 96.
While that dismissal briefly halted South Africa’s charge, Van Heerden soon brought up his fifty before stepping on the gas with Andile Simelane. An explosive 25 from 12 balls from Simelane only added to Ireland’s troubles as South Africa moved to 207 for four.
Simelane was dismissed in the next over but Mickey Copeland chipped in with a 43 from 18 balls before Van Heerden brought up his century with a four in the 46th over. Van Heerden was eventually dismissed in the final ball of the innings, which was shortened to 47 overs due to an earlier rain delay.
Ireland’s response could not have got off to a worse possible start as Liam Doherty was caught by Maree off the bowling of Matthew Boast for a golden duck in the first ball of the innings. Nathan McGuire steadied the ship with 42 from 33 balls before Simelane took his wicket, with Joshua Cox and Ireland captain Tim Tector both falling cheaply to Boast.
Philippus Roux (33) provided some resistance along with Humphreys (38) but a lack of support meant Ireland were always fighting an uphill battle and they were eventually all out for 158. Boast was the star of the bowlers for the Proteas with 3/26 while Liam Alder also took 3/20, with Asakhe Tsaka and Simelane contributing two each.
Brief scores: South Africa 315/7 in 47 overs (Dewald Brevis 96, George Van Heerden 111, Michael Copeland 43) beat Ireland 158 in 33 overs (Nathan McGuire 42, Matthew Humphreys 38; Matthew Boast 3/26, Liam Alder 3/20) by 153 runs D/L Method.