South Africa wins toss, elects to bat v Ireland at World Cup
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — South Africa skipper AB de Villiers won the toss Tuesday and opted to bat first against unbeaten Ireland in a Cricket World Cup Pool B match at Manuka Oval.
South Africa retained the same starting lineup from its recent 257-run win over the West Indies, when de Villiers struck an unbeaten on 162 off 66 balls to help his team to 408-5 — the second-highest total ever at the World Cup.
The South Africans won their opening match against Zimbabwe, but lost a lopsided contest to defending champion India in Melbourne before responding with the victory over West Indies.
“We just looked at the conditions, and thought batting first suits us today,” de Villiers said.
JP Duminy was batting in the nets, but de Villiers said the allrounder was still not 100 percent fit and wasn’t available for selection.
Ireland has won both of its games so far chasing totals — a surprising four-wicket win over West Indies in its opener and a narrow, last-over win against the United Arab Emirates.
Ireland made only one change to its lineup, with spinner Andy McBrine coming back in at the expense of pace bowler Alex Cusack.
South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (captain), Rilee Rossouw, David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Dale Steyn, Kyle Abbott, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.
Ireland: William Porterfield (captain), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O’Brien, Andy Balbirnie, Gary Wilson, Kevin O’Brien, John Mooney, Max Sorensen, George Dockrell, Andy McBrine.
Umpires: Steve Davis, Australia, and Ranmore Martinesz, Sri Lanka.
Third Umpire: Ian Gould, England. Match Referee: Roshan Mahanama, Sri Lanka.