Half centuries from Temba Bavuma and Reeza Hendricks along with a solid bowling performance handed South Africa a 49-run victory over Ireland to seal the three-match T20 Internationals 3-0 at the Civil Service Cricket Club in Belfast on Saturday.
Man of the match Bavuma registered his maiden T20 fifty, scoring six boundaries and two sixes from 51 balls before being caught by Mark Adair from the bowling of Barry McCarthy (4-0-40-1) for 72 while Hendricks faced 48 deliveries for his 69 which included seven boundaries and one six after Bavuma had won the toss and elected to bat first.
“I have been lean with runs, but I am true to our game plan and want to put aside my personal things and focus on the team. We have to just challenge ourselves and get better. You always want to lead with the bat and I have struggled but I am enjoying the responsibility,” said captain Bavuma at the post-match interview.
The pair shared in a measured opening stand of 127 from 93 balls to lay the platform for their total of 189 for two before George Linde (4-0-21-2), Wiaan Mulder (2-0-10-2) and Lizaad Williams (4-0-30-2) helped restrict the Ireland side to 140 for nine.
“We felt we wanted to lay a foundation. We did not approach the conditions well, we felt we too aggressive up front and we lost a lot of wickets. Today we were able to do well,” said Bavuma after the match.
“I am happy with power play, we wanted to be around 45, and obviously we didn’t get that but we laid a foundation upfront. It was kind of old school style and I am happy for Temba and Reeza,” said South African coach, Marck Boucher.
Once Hendricks departed, caught by Lorcan Tucker behind the stumps off Simi Singh (4-0-27-1), the platform had been laid for man of the series David Miller to stride out and continue the form he showed in the previous T20 when he blasted an unbeaten 75 from just 44 balls.
Miller struck four boundaries and a six from just 17 balls to end unbeaten on 36 despite a hamstring strain while adding 32 runs off 16 balls for the second wicket with Bavuma and then an unbeaten 30 from 14 balls with Heinrich Klaasen (7 not out) for the third wicket.
But Ireland were never in the chase. Linde claimed the wicket of the out of forms Kevin O’Brien (2), top edging to Janneman Malan, who was on the field for the injured Miller, at backward square-leg. Paul Sterling (18) and captain Andy Balbirnie (27) added 27 for the second wicket from 21 deliveries but Williams had Sterlin caught from a leading edge by Beuran Hendricks at third man.
“Temba has been putting in a lot of hard work, he is a tough little character. When he doesn’t lead from front, that upsets him. He is the type of guy that wants score runs and this is the perfect time for him to take it into Sri Lanka and the World Cup,” said Boucher.
Balbirnie, who stroked four boundaries from 22 deliveries, shared in a third-wicket stand of 33 from 25 balls with Tucker (19) but once Balbirnie departed, trapped in front by Linde, the writing was on the wall.
Mulder picked up the wickets of Tucker, caught behind by Klaasen, and Harry Tector (5), brilliantly caught by Aiden Markram on the long-on fence, in his first over before Andile Phehlukwayo (2-0-15-1) had Shane Getkate caught behind for just 11.
“Linde has been bowling well. He has been short of runs considering he is picked as an allrounder but I am not surprised with ball. I am happy with Bjorn’s form, he has not been bowling a lot as we have tried to give guys an opportunity on tour but he conducts himself well,” added Boucher.
Singh (5) and Adair (8) were run out by Bavuma and Phehlukwayo respectively before Williams had Craig Young (22) caught by Mulder after having struck three fours and a six.
McCarthy (13 not out) and debutante Ben White (2 not out) saw out the rest of the innings and frustrated the visitors from bowling out the home side.
As published on Supersport.com