Allround Hall saves South Africa
South Africa 192 (Hall 67*, Johnston 4-40) beat Ireland 157 (Botha 40, Langeveldt 4-32) by 35 runs
Andrew Hall produced a superb and timely allround performance to save South Africa's blushes in their opening World Cup warm-up match against Ireland at the Frank Worrell Ground in Trinidad. Hall rescued his side twice, first with an unbeaten 67 from No. 9 after South Africa, the new World No.1s, had been reduced to 91 for 8 in the first innings; then with a spell of 3 for 30 from nine overs to set up a tight 35-run win.
Before the match, South Africa had been lambasted as "chokers" by their former opening bowler, Allan Donald, and after winning the toss and choosing to bat first, they did their utmost to live up to the billing. Graeme Smith, AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis all tumbled to the medium-pace of Dave Langford-Smith, before the captain, Trent Johnston, got stuck into the middle order.
South Africa lost four prime wickets for 11 runs to slip to 66 for 7, before Hall and Mark Boucher instigated a mini-recovery with an eighth-wicket stand of 25. But it wasn't until desperation set in that South Africa clawed themselves back into contention, as Hall was joined by Robin Peterson (29) and the No. 11, Roger Telemachus (10) to add 101 priceless runs for the final two wickets.
Even so, a target of 193 was eminently attainable for the Irish, even though they lost Jeremy Bray early on, caught behind off Andre Nel for 1. Will Porterfield provided the backbone for the chase with a doughty 37, enabling Andre Botha and Kevin O'Brien to add 54 for the fifth wicket to carry Ireland into the ascendancy as the final ten overs approached.
But into the fray strode Charl Langeveldt, who scalped four of the last five wickets for just nine runs, as Ireland lost their nerve as South Africa demonstrated their greater knowhow.