(SATSports) – With an unassailable 2-0 lead in the T20I series, South Africa wil be hoping to effect a clean sweep and boost their confidence ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.
South Africa have done well so far in the shortest format. They won the T20I series in West Indies last month, and already have the Ireland one in the bag. With the T20 World Cup barely three months away, the visitors will be looking to strengthen their batting prowess, which has not yet actualised its potential so far in this series.
Ireland suffered defeats in both the T20Is so far, but showed grit to challenge the Proteas, especially with the ball in hand. Much like South Africa, their batting woes have troubled them considerably, handicapping the side in their efforts to win the big moments in a match.
Remember the last time
Ireland got off to an unbelievable start in the second T20I when they reduced South Africa to 2/2 after the first over. They picked up wickets at regular intervals, sending half of the South African side back to the pavilion by the 10th over with only 58 on the board. However, David Miller turned the tables in the second half of the innings, smashing a 44-ball 75* to help the visitors post a respectable 159/7.
Bjorn Fortuin then dismissed Kevin O’Brien in Ireland’s first over to disrupt the hosts’ chase. Their captain Andy Balbirnie also perished early. By the 10th over, Ireland found themselves in a similar position to South Africa, with 56/5 on the board. Lorcan Tucker and Shane Getake hit a couple of big blows, but the resistance didn’t last long. The Proteas kept a firm lid on the scoring rate and eventually bowled out the hosts for just 117.
What they said
Pholetsi Moseki (CSA Acting Chief Executive): “The priority is to get the Proteas battle-hardened and ready for the immediate challenge that awaits them at the ICC T20 World Cup towards the end of the year and, by winning successive away series against world champions, the West Indies, as well as Ireland, they have provided a good indication that they are on the right track.”
Andrew Balbirnie (Ireland captain): “The pitch played okay. Probably a little slower than we anticipated but we kept them to 160. If we had built a partnership, we would have gotten closer but naturally, we didn’t get going. It is disappointing, yes of course, but we have another cracker on Saturday.”