Hall saves SA embarrassment
05 Mar 2007
By: Zac Gelman
The impossible almost took place in Trinidad last night when Ireland had South Africa on the ropes early. Only a supreme effort by Andrew Hall with the bat and the ball were able to save the Proteas from the ultimate embarrassment, winning by 35 runs.
In a real David Vs Goliath battle, lowly minnow Ireland started off their first practice match in unbelievable circumstances, reducing the number one ranked side in the world to 8-91 early on.
Ireland had bowled with vigour and penetration all morning long and they reaped the rewards, dismissing some of the finest batsman in the game today.
Dave Langford-Smith, born in Sydney, Australia terrorised to South African top order with three wickets, consisting of de Villiers(5), Smith(9) and Kalis (12) for just 30 runs in his eight overs.
Trent Johnston, also born in New South Wales, was just as potent, taking the four crucial wickets of Gibbs(21), Prince(7), Pollock(1) and Bosman(0) for 40 runs in his 10 overs.
It was left to Andrew Hall to pull his side out of the wreckage, the all-rounder scoring an unbeaten 67, to take his side to the semi-respectable score of 192 all out.
In reply, Ireland were more than stubborn. After opener Jeremy Bray fell for just one to Andre Nel, William Porterfield (37) and the middle order of Andre Botha (40) and Kevin O'Brien (33) fired and one of the greatest cricketing upsets was seeming likely.
However it was not to be. Once Botha was dismissed by Nel, the South Africans led by Hall and Langeveldt turned on the class and dismissed the next five batsmen for just 18 runs, leading their side to a 35 run win.
Ireland will hold their heads up high after yesterdays efforts, taking the game right to the mighty South Africans, a side that may very well be World Champions come the middle of April. The South Africans however will be hoping their lack of form was nothing more than a spot of jetlag and lack of acclimatisation.
South Africa 192
Andrew Hall 67
Trent Johnston 4-40, Dave Langford-Smith 3-30
Andre Botha 40, William Porterfield 37
Charl Langeveldt 4-31, Andrew Hall 3-26
South Africa won by 35 runs