Vernon Philander shone on his debut, claiming four wickets and helping South Africa to a 42-run win against Ireland in the rain-curtailed one-day international cricket here today.
Put in to bat, South Africa scored 173 runs for the loss of four wickets and then bowled out Ireland for 131 runs with just a ball to spare, after the contest was reduced to 31-overs a side following rain delay of close to five hours.
Though Ireland lost the match, they shone in patches and did not allow a top cricketing side to trample them all over, doing no harm to their post World Cup reputation.
But two debutants from each side made it their day.
For South Africa, it was medium-pacer Philander (4-12), returning the second best figures for his country, while for Ireland, all-rounder Allan Cusack emerged as the star as he sparkled both with the bat.
Cusack claimed 3 for 15 in just 4 overs before scoring a resolute 36 not out off 56 balls to steady the rocking boat of the hosts who kept losing wickets at regular interval while chasing the stiff target of 6-runs per over.
Ireland's opening stand, William Porterfield (17) and Kenny Carroll (21), put on 45 runs but then were reduced to 4-56 as Philander and Steyn (2-30) took control of affairs.
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