Ireland knocked out of the park as South Africa hit 411

It was the second-highest total in World Cup history – and three runs more than last week's 408 against the West Indies

Ireland's George Dockrell during the 2015 Cricket World Cup between Ireland and South Africa
(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

First it was the West Indies, now it's Ireland turn to be smashed out of sight by South Africa's batsmen.

Last week South Africa compiled an eye-watering 408-5 against the West Indies, the second-highest total in World Cup history, and this morning they bettered themselves, battering 411 in the 50 overs Ireland bowled at them for the loss of just four wickets.

That's just two runs short of the record World Cup innings: India's 413 against Bermuda in the 2007 tournament.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

It was AB de Villiers who did the damage last week, scoring the fastest ever 150 in one-day internationals in their crushing 257-run defeat of the West Indies in Sydney. It took him just 64 balls to pass 150, an extraordinary achievement against one of the stronger World Cup sides.

Ireland – despite beating the West Indies in their opening pool match – haven't the same strength in depth as the men from the Caribbean and their bowlers were ripped apart in Canberra in the Pool B clash. Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis both reached three figures, the former going on to make 159 in 128 balls in a partnership of 247 with his fellow South African. "We did the basics really well," commented du Plessis after he was eventually out for 109. "That's what we want to do as a top order. I'm really proud of the boys…we know as a batting unit that if we get a good foundation we have some really good power hitters. It's great to bat with Hashim Amla. He's so experienced, and I can learn so much from him."

It could have been so different if Ireland had held the chances in the field that came their way. Amla was dropped when he was on just 10, and du Plessis also offered a catch when he made 19. Irish profligacy was ruthlessly punished, particularly in the final few overs as Rilee Rossouw and David Miller let rip. Rossouw finished with an unbeaten 61 from 30 balls, and the last over went for 24 runs.

It was always a big challenge for Ireland to chase down such a mammoth total and the men in green were soon in the mire at 48 for 5. A 50-run partnership between Kevin O'Brien and Andy Balbirnie kept South Africa at bay for a while but the

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.