Andrew Hall dragged South Africa out of trouble with the bat and then took three wickets on Monday to guide the Proteas to a 36-run win over Ireland in a World Cup warm-up match.
Hall struck an unbeaten 67, helping lift South Africa from 91 for eight to 192 all out.
He then took 3-25 as Ireland put on 157 in a stubborn reply that lasted almost 50 overs.
Ireland’s Australian-born fast bowlers did some early damage against the top-ranked South Africans, with Trent Johnston snaring 4-40 and David Langford-Smith returning 3-30.
The 30-year-old Langford-Smith never played first-class cricket in Australia but that did not prevent him taking some prize wickets at the Sir Frank Worrell ground to give Ireland confidence ahead of its World Cup debut.
He removed Graeme Smith (9), AB de Villiers (5) and Jacques Kallis (12) to have South Africa reeling at 42 for three.
Herschelle Gibbs was the next to go, bowled by Johnston for 21, in an innings that included four boundaries. Gibbs played despite injuring his finger in a training session.
Johnston had Ashwell Prince caught by South Africa-born Andre Botha to have the Proteas at 64-5. Two runs later, Shaun Pollock was out for one and Loots Bosman fell without scoring, both off the bowling of Johnston.
The 32-year-old Johnston played for the New South Wales state team, alongside Australia test players including Mark Taylor, Michael Slater and Brett Lee, before choosing to represent Ireland.
Mark Boucher’s departure for 14 left South Africa at 91-8 before Hall took charge.
He hit six boundaries and a six in his 98-ball knock. He was helped by fellow tail-enders Robin Peterson (29) and Roger Telemachus (10) in salvaging South Africa’s innings.
Ireland lost Jeremy Bray in the first over for one and struggled to get past the tight fielding cordon set by South Africa. Eoin Morgan was bowled by Hall for 14 and Niall O’Brien was caught behind off Hall for 16 to leave Ireland on 69-3.
Opener William Porterfield made 37 before he was caught by Smith and Botha brought Ireland past 100 runs with a four off Jacques Kallis.
Ireland reached triple figures from 188 balls, and with Botha continuing his attacking play, forcing South Africa to broaden its fielding positions.
Andre Nel trapped Botha lbw on 40, leaving Ireland on 139-5 with 11 overs remaining. Ten runs later, Kyle McCallam fell for three and five balls later, Johnston was clean bowled by Hall.
The rest of the Ireland tail contributed 18 runs before Charl Langeveldt took late wickets to finish with 4-31. – Sapa-AP