Ireland v South Africa
Tuesday March 03, 03:30 GMT
Live on Sky Sports World Cup
As favourites to beat the UAE, Ireland felt the pressure before securing a last wicket victory but that win also underlines the strength in depth that runs through this side. Batting at six, Gary Wilson made a match-winning 80 supported by Kevin O'Brien's 50 at a strike rate of two runs per ball. Team spirit can be overstated at times but evidently this Irish side will not give up and will not be awed by any set of opponents.
Against South Africa however, the bowling will need to improve with O'Brien proving particularly expensive in the face of Shaiman Anwar's 83-ball 106. A repeat of that performance in Canberra will leave Will Porterfield's men with what could be a heavy and demoralising defeat.
After South Africa made a slow start to the competition, a familiar set of opponents helped to re-launch their World Cup campaign. AB De Villiers' men had breezed past the West Indies prior to this tournament and their 257 run win in Sydney resembled an extension of that one-sided series.
It was Déjà vu all over again as De Villiers pummelled the Windies' attack, setting batting records along the way and receiving good support from his bowlers who, with Imran Tahir suddenly finding some consistency, are starting to look like a far more effective unit.
David Miller and JP Duminy have also found form with the bat while Hashim Amla and Quinton De Kock have yet to really get going. Faf Du Plessis and Rilee Rossouw will also be anxious to make a big score as this tournament progresses but for now, the South Africans are set for a strong finish to the group stages.
Venue and Conditions
The two previous World Cup games at Canberra's Manuka Oval have produced an average first innings score of 319 with Chris Gayle driving the West Indies to the highest total of 372. It's a figure that the South Africans could comfortably eclipse and if Ireland were to take first knock, you feel they would have to reach 350 to be competitive.
The forecast suggests minimal cloud cover with temperatures just nudging 30 degrees Centigrade on a surface that should provide the stronger teams with assistance for both batsmen and bowlers.
Having burst through the 400 mark against the West Indians, many are expecting a similar batting performance from South Africa but against a less familiar attack, it may not be quite as explosive. Ireland keep adding to their list of World Cup scalps but a victory over such a strong set of opponents would go down as their biggest upset to date.
That theory is backed up by the result market for this tie: Against the West Indies, Ireland were available at around 4.84/1 but their win price for Tuesday currently stands at 15.5. If you like a slender profit, South Africa at 1.061/18 are virtually certain to claim the points.
Top South Africa Batsman
Hashim Amla started the World Cup as one of the favourites to take the outright top batsman market but after three matches, the opener has made just 98 runs. Amla has the potential to double that total against Ireland and is currently at 3.613/5 to top score on Tuesday.
After another AB De Villiers onslaught, the skipper should attract a heap of cash at 4.84/1 and there are plenty of alternatives, right down to Miller at 10.519/2 and Duminy at 13.012/1. It looks a tough market but Amla is due a big contribution.
The question in a game involving De Villiers is where to set the bar. Ten or more sixes is currently quoted at 1.728/11 for this fixture and the South African skipper cleared the ropes eight times in his 162 against the Windies. Ireland will also contribute to this market with O'Brien and Wilson in good form so that over 10 mark should be safe.
Back Hashim Amla to top score for South Africa at 3.613/5.