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William Porterfield's plan can catch AB de Villiers out

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Off bat: William Portserfield is key for Ireland, with bat and ball

Off bat: William Portserfield is key for Ireland, with bat and ball

?INPHO/PHOTOSPORT/Chris Symes

Off bat: William Portserfield is key for Ireland, with bat and ball

William Porterfield has no recollection of the catch he took to dismiss AB de Villiers in Guyana eight years ago, but he is desperately hoping for a repeat tomorrow.

Ireland and South Africa meet at the Manuka Oval, Canberra (3.30am start), for the third time in as many World Cups with the world's No. 2 ranked side the hottest of favourites to extend their unbeaten record against Ireland.

De Villiers was caught Porterfield bowled Rankin to the third ball of the match at the Providence Stadium in 2007, but this time, the Ireland captain cannot give the new ball to England's Boyd Rankin and his opposite number tomorrow is now the No. 1 one-day batsman in the world.

The South Africa skipper is in the form of his life and in the space of six weeks has hit the West Indies attack for 149 from just 44 balls and last Friday, was only a little slower in smashing 162 not out from 66 deliveries.

It might be a good policy for Ireland to keep De Villiers, who no longer opens the batting, in the pavilion as long as possible.

"De Villiers is very dangerous and a fantastic player, but they have others throughout their line-up that can win games," said Porterfiled.

"We have to focus on our own game and make sure we go in 100 per cent prepared and confident in what we can do.

"I have no memory of De Villiers' dismissal in 2007 or the match, actually.

"The warm-up game against South Africa before that World Cup stands out more, we should have won it.

"We've played them a few times, this is different again and we have to be smart how we go about our cricket, but we're confident after our first two wins here."

Ireland have chosen to chase in the first two matches, with their batsmen getting their bowlers out of trouble, but this time it will be a surprise if the captain winning the toss does not bat first.

"The toss was not so important in Brisbane (against the UAE). The Gabba pitch didn't change, but there have already been two games here and we will draw on that," said Porterfield.

Those two games have resulted in wins by 105 runs and 73 runs, albeit the favourites won both, with West Indies, thanks to Chris Gayle's individual record World Cup score of 215 and Bangladesh defeating Zimbabwe and Afghanistan respectively.

While Porterfield described the way the Ireland team have chased down totals of 300 and 280 in their first two games as "very pleasing", the worry from outside the camp has been the leaking of runs by the bowlers in the last 15 overs.

The captain is more philosophical.

"I actually don't think there is a lot wrong with our death bowling," he said.

"There's obviously things we can improve on, but the way things have gone in this competition and one-day cricket in the last couple of years, you are doing well to keep teams to under 90 in the last 10 overs.

"We've gone for a few more boundaries than we would have liked, but we are trying to improve all the time so I wouldn't criticise the bowlers too much because it's a hard period of the game, especially with only four men out. It's very difficult to defend against but obviously we can be better."

They will need to be better against one of the most dangerous batting line-ups in the tournament and this time it is likely to decide if they have any chance of causing what would be the upset of the tournament. so far.

Belfast Telegraph