South Africa vs Ireland: Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram each scored fifty to lead the Proteas to reach 211 for five, breaking their previous best against the Irish of 189 for two from Belfast in 2017.
Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram each scored a half-century to help the Proteas win by 21 runs against Ireland in the first of their two-match T20 International series on Wednesday at Bristol’s Seat Unique Stadium (August 3). Hendricks, the opener, recorded the highest total of 74 off 53 balls (10 fours, 1 six), becoming just the sixth player at this level. Markram also struck back-to-back half-centuries on his way to 56 off 27 balls (2 fours, five sixes).
They contributed to the Proteas’ 211 for five, which broke their previous record against the Irish of 189 for two in Belfast last year. The opposition responded with 190 for nine in their 20 overs, giving the South Africans a worry in the chase. However, the tourists managed to hold on and take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
On Friday, the second game will be played at the exact location (August 5). However, the Proteas earned every bit of their most recent victory. Mark Boucher’s team won the toss and decided to bat first after defeating England in the last series, which ended on Sunday, 2-1. David Miller was injured. Therefore this decision was made.
In the sixth over, the score was 45 for two when Rassie van der Dussen (10) and Quinton de Kock ran out for seven runs each. However, Hendricks and Markram afterwards joined forces for a third-wicket stand of 112 runs. Before losing to consecutive Gareth Delany (2/31) deliveries, they made good use of the short boundaries, with the former scoring his 11th T20I 50 and the latter scoring his eighth.
But young guns Tristan Stubbs (24 off 11 balls) and Dwaine Pretorius (21 not out off seven balls) had a good time, in the end, to help their team reach a high total.
Ireland made a strong start, reaching 43 for one in the fifth over, but swiftly lost four wickets, slipping to 84 for five in the tenth. With a double for Wayne Parnell (2/36), stand-in skipper Keshav Maharaj (2/29) got two wickets.
However, they received a scare when George Dockrell (43 off 28 balls, two fours, three sixes) and Lorcan Tucker (78 off 38 balls, seven fours, five sixes) quickly put together 86 to give the Irish hope. The South Africans finished off a tense victory, but Tabraiz Shamsi (2/37) broke the alliance by removing the former and with him the aspirations of their opponents.
Short scores: Ireland 190/9 against. South Africa 211/5 (Lorcan Tucker 78, George Dockrell 43; Keshav Maharaj 2/29, Tabraiz Shamsi 2/37); Reeza Hendricks 74, Aiden Markram 56, Tristan Stubbs 24; Gareth Delany 2/31).