South Africa as Ireland: Ireland suffered their seventh straight defeat in T20Is despite coming close against India, New Zealand, and now South Africa. Though they were closer than that gap would imply for most of their innings, they fell 21 runs short of completing their best successful chase this time.
Bowlers on both sides had costly outings on a pitch with brief straight and square boundaries. Despite possibly wanting it to be greater, South Africa defeated Ireland with their best score. Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram’s 112-run third-wicket partnership helped them recover from falling to 45 for two and placed them in a position to pursue a total of at least 220.
Ireland had the chance to push South Africa back when Gareth Delany successfully removed the pair with successive deliveries. However, South Africa scored 53 runs off the final four overs because of Tristan Stubbs’ 24 off 11 deliveries and Dwaine Pretorius’ 21 off seven deliveries.
An errant effort from Ireland with the ball assisted South Africa. Only three of their seven-bowler assault gave up runs at less than ten per over while they bowled 13 wides, adding more than two extra overs.
Only the spinners from South Africa did not travel, and in the absence of injured Kagiso Rabada and rested Anrich Nortje, they can be satisfied with their performance. In their eight overs together, Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi took 4 for 66, while Lungi Ngidi and Dwaine Pretorius, and Wayne Parnell added yorkers and judicious use of slower balls, respectively.
Lorcan Tucker’s dismissal in the 17th over kept Ireland in the pursuit. In addition to building on a good powerplay and putting on 86 runs with George Dockrell for the sixth wicket, he also ignored losing 3 for 12 between the eighth and tenth over.
Curious run of De Kock
Quinton de Kock hasn’t had much of a tour other than a scorching unbeaten 92 in the third ODI against England that was wiped out in Leeds, especially in T20Is. In four innings, he has only scored 24 runs and hasn’t been as destructive as usual. Against Ireland, he also had a bustling but uneventful start, scoring primarily ones or twos on the leg side.
At that point, he attempted to force the issue by bunting Mark Adair to the ground and then running for a fast single. Harry Tector, sensing a chance for an intervention, rushed in from mid-off, and his direct hit, which caught de Kock short of his crease, reached the stumps at the non-end. Striker’s Upon review, the ruling was upheld, and South Africa was in serious difficulty after scoring 23 to 1.
What do Hendricks, Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, Gustav McKeon, and Rayyankhan Pathan have in common? Here’s a question for your upcoming sports quiz. Hendricks joined the list today, making them the only five hitters in the game to achieve four consecutive T20I fifties.
He added three more against England on Wednesday, scoring an easy-as-you-like 74. From the moment he lofted Josh Little over the covers for six with what appeared to be little effort, Hendricks seemed to be in control. With the draw and cut, he displayed his strength, and he also showed the silky cover drives that have made him famous for his smooth strokeplay.
Hendricks is once more running
Hendricks reached fifty off of 32 deliveries, and from there, he needed 53 deliveries to match his previous career high of 74.
After missing the first two T20Is against England, Going Big on Little Markam was reinserted into the starting lineup for the third game. He scored fifty points right away in both that game and this one. After needing 13 balls to regain his balance, he charged Barry McCarthy and Gareth Delany before taking on Josh Little, a left-arm rapid player.
Markram scored 20 runs off Little in four balls, two of which were sixes over deep square leg, four over mid-on, and four over midwicket. Markram continued by scoring his third consecutive fifty in a T20I, giving him a chance to join Hendricks in an entire company if he accomplishes the feat in the upcoming game.
Using force in the powerplay
With a powerplay spearheaded by Tucker that put Ireland much in front of where South Africa was at the same point in their innings, Ireland made the strongest statement they could. A four in each of the first three over by captain Andy Balbirnie set the tone until he top-edged Wayne Parnell to Pretorius at mid-on.
Tucker and Paul Stirling nevertheless sent Lungi Ngidi’s second over for 17 despite the early defeat. Before taking on Pretorius’ slower ball, Tucker smashed Parnell over mid-off for four and over long-off for six. As Ireland amassed 67 runs during the powerplay, 20 more than South Africa’s total at that point, Tucker had scored 26 runs off the eight balls he faced.
Tucker quickly followed by scoring his third T20I half-century off 25 balls, positioning Ireland as a real threat to South Africa.
Shamsi ties things up.
At the exact location a week earlier, Tabraiz Shamsi failed to pick up a wicket. Still, today he performed considerably better and dismissed Ireland’s most dangerous player at a critical time. Tucker determined that Shamsi was the bowler to target to give Ireland their most excellent chance of achieving the 64 runs they required in the final five overs.
He pulled a shorter delivery between long-on and midwicket for four runs after slogging a full delivery over long-on for six runs. However, he top-edged towards a short fine leg when he attempted to slog-sweep a wider ball. De Kock had to gain some ground but took a simple catch, giving the lower order of Ireland too much work.