SA eyeing quarter-final berth with Ireland win

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2011, 10:42 AM IST

Kolkata: Oozing confidence after their thrilling win against India, South Africa can seal their last eight berth in the World Cup on Tuesday with victory in the Group B match against Ireland.

With two points from the first match in the tournament to be held at the renovated Eden Gardens, the Proteas will be well on track to achieve their ambition to top the group.

But injuries to their best players -- batsman AB de Villiers and leg spinner Imran Tahir -- and a rapidly improving Ireland team, who have already caused a major upset by defeating England, might not make it so easy for South Africa.

"We are fully aware of what Ireland have done. It`s important to prepare not just from a tactical but from a mental point of view," South Africa coach Corrie van Zyl said.

The South Africans are unlikely to risk leading scorer De Villiers (thigh injury) and highest wicket-taker Tahir (thumb) on Tuesday.

Ireland expect to include experienced paceman Trent Johnston, returning from a knee injury, in place of Andre Botha, who was suffering from a stomach bug for Tuesday`s match.

Bureau Report