Amla (159) and Faf Du Plessis (109) shared a 247-run second-wicket stand Tuesday before Rilee Russow (61 not out) and David Miller (46 not out) added an unbroken 110-run stand in the last eight overs to lift South Africa to 411-4, beating its own mark—set last Friday—for the second-highest total ever at the Cricket World Cup.
Ireland was in trouble early in its reply with leading batsmen Paul Stirling (9), Williams Porterfield (12) and Ed Joyce (0) out in the first five overs as the score slipped to 21-3 with Dale Steyn (2-39 ) and Kyle Abbott (4-21) getting right on top. Andy Balbirnie (58) and Kevin O'Brien (48) prolonged the innings before Ireland was all out for 210 after 45 overs.
The South Africans were stung by a lopsided 130-run loss to defending champion India in Melbourne on Feb. 22, when they were bowled out for 177, and have posted back-to-back 400-plus totals since.
South Africa was coming off a 257-run win over the West Indies in Sydney last Friday, when AB de Villiers struck an unbeaten 162 off 66 balls in a total of 408-5 -- then second only to India's 413-5 against Bermuda in 2007 among the highest totals at the tournament.
After just a three day break, South Africa's batting lineup turned it on again.This time, though, it wasn't de Villiers doing all the damage.
Opener Amla punished Ireland for a dropped catch when he was on 10, scoring a career-best 159 from 128 balls and hitting 16 boundaries and 4 sixes as he controlled the partnership with du Plessis after the pair joined in the third over with the total at 12.
His 20 ODI centuries have come in 111 matches, making him the fastest batsman to reach that milestone.Du Plessis was out with the total at 259 and Amla continued with AB de Villiers, who scored 24 from nine balls, until a double breakthrough within three balls from Andy McBrine (2-63) in the 42nd over temporarily slowed the South African onslaught.
Ed Joyce, who dropped the catch at mid-wicket off Kevin O'Brien's bowling in the sixth over, held on to the chance at long-off when Amla stepped down the pitch and lofted a McBrine ball into the deep.
De Villiers clubbed two sixes and a boundary in his nine balls before he top-edged an attempted reverse sweep from McBrine to Niall O'Brien at backward point with the total 301.
The fifth-wicket pair took up the attack, with Russow hitting six boundaries and three sixes from his 30 balls and Miller also scoring at a strike-rate of 200.