Amla, du Plessis help Proteas post 411/4

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Canberra, March 3 (IANS) Top order batsmen Hashim Amla (159) and Faf du Plessis (109) cracked centuries to help South Africa post 411/4, the highest total of the current World Cup, in 50 overs against Ireland in a Pool B game at the Manuka Oval here on Tuesday.

After skipper AB de Villiers elected to bat, South Africa lost left-handed opener Quinton de Kock (1) early with the scoreborad reading 12/1 in 2.3 overs. However, du Plessis joined in-form and right-handed opener Amla in the middle and the duo put up a 247-run partnership, their highest in World Cups for the second wicket.

The Proteas smashed the hapless Irish bowlers all around the park and scored at a very good pace. They upped the ante even more after scoring half-centuries and continued to dominate. The 31-year-old Amla scored a run-a-ball century and also became the fastest batsman to register 20 One-Day International (ODI) hundreds in just 107 innings.

On the other hand, 30-year-old du Plessis notched up his fourth ODI century. He faced 109 balls and scored 10 fours and a six. He was bowled off a Kevin O’Brien yorker but not before putting his team in command at 259/2 in the 39th over.

Du Plessis’ fall brought big-hitting de Villiers to the crease and he didn’t take much time to go berserk once again. Amla, meanwhile, continued to make merry as he scored his next 59 runs in just 28 balls. He belted 16 fours and four sixes in his 128-ball stay but lost his wicket by offering a catch to Ed Joyce at long-off of a Andy McBrine delivery in the 42nd over.

Two balls later, de Villiers reverse swept McBrine and the ball landed in the hands of Nial O’Brien at backward point. He played a cameo of 24 from nine deliveries which included one four and two sixes.

Afterwards, Rilee Rossouw (61 not out in 30 balls) and David Miller (42 not out in 22 balls) played savage for an unbeaten 110-run partnership which helped the African side score 131 runs in the last 10 overs.

South Africa added 230 runs in the last 20 overs which ultimately helped them end at 411/4, which is the second highest team total in World Cup history after India’s 413/5 against Bermuda in 2007.

Brief scores: South Africa 411/5 (Hashim Amla 159, Faf du Plessis 109, Rilee Rossouw 61 not out; Andy McBrine 2/63) vs Ireland.

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