South Africa faced Ireland in a rain affected game on Sunday. The Irish managed to win the toss which was about the only joy they would get from the game. South Africa didn’t massacre the bowling as some might have predicted, mainly due to debutant Alex Cusack picking up 3 of the top 4 batsman in his 4 overs. He ended up with 3/15 in his spell. Morne van Wyk made sure his recall wouldn’t go unnoticed as he top scored for South Africa with 52 off 84 balls. It might not have been the quickest 50 off his life, but will give him some hope of playing for the national side more often. He was supported by De Villiers making 40 and Jacques Kallis contributing 46 whilst Kemp made a brisk 18* off 13 balls.
The match was restricted to 31 overs and 173 might not have been enough against a stronger opposition and flashbacks from the world cup friendly against Ireland must have come to haunt the players as Ireland were on 45 off 9 overs before losing their first wicket. Dale Steyn picked up 2/30 off 7 which is fairly respectable in a comeback match. The hero for South Africa was Vernon Philander a man who could become South Africa’s best all- rounder in the near future. Vernon decided to celebrate turning 22 in an unforgettable manner making his debut for the Proteas and setting himself an almost impossible task of bettering his career-best figures in the future. Philander picked up 4/12 in 5.5 overs, and halted in resurgence the Irish had. On the other end of the debut scale was Thandi Tshabalala, who had a fairly innocuous start going for 22 in 3 overs but he did pick up a wicket.
South Africa managed a 42 run win against the Irish, which under the circumstances was a very comfortable win. The only surprising decision made by the Proteas was to not let JP Duminy come in earlier on in the innings, however he did get a bowl (maybe to make up for this oversight) and took 1/16 in 3 overs.