Hendricks, Markram propel South Africa as Ireland again fall short in close finish: Ireland’s seven-match losing streak in T20Is came to an end when they were beaten by South Africa for the third time in a row.
A 21-run deficit was all that separated them from their biggest successful chase, but they were closer than that gap would indicate for most of their innings.
There were costly outings on a pitch featuring short, straight and square boundaries for both teams’ bowlers. South Africa’s best result came against Ireland, but they may have hoped for more. Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram’s 112-run third-wicket partnership put them in a position to strive for a total of 220 or more.
With successive deliveries from Gareth Delany, Ireland had the opportunity to yank South Africa back. However, South Africa scored 53 runs off the final four overs because to Tristan Stubbs’ 24 off 11 deliveries and Dwaine Pretorius’ 21 off 7 deliveries.
Ireland’s lack of discipline contributed to South Africa’s victory. Thirteen wides resulted in more than two additional overs, and only three of their seven-bowler assault were able to restrict the opposition to less than ten runs per over.
Despite the absence of the injured Kagiso Rabada and the rested Anrich Nortje, South Africa’s spinners will be satisfied with their efforts. Lungi Ngidi and Dwaine Pretorius and Wayne Parnell each bowled yorkers and slower balls to help Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi combine for 4 for 66 in their eight overs.
Lorcan Tucker was dismissed in the 17th over, bringing an end to Ireland’s hopes. Between the eighth and tenth overs, he and George Dockrell put on 86 runs for the sixth wicket and built on a powerful powerplay.
Quinton de Kock has had a quiet tour overall, with the exception of his unbeaten 92 in the washed-out third ODI against England in Leeds. In four innings, he has only produced 24 runs and hasn’t looked like the destructive force he usually is. Against Ireland, he had a lively but underwhelming debut, scoring largely one- and two-pointers down the leg side.
After bunting Mark Adair down the line, he went for a quick single to try to force the issue. An opportunity to intervene presented itself, and Harry Tector sprinted in from mid-off, striking the stumps at de Kock’s end with de Kock still short of his crease. South Africa’s early woes on 23 for 1 were confirmed after a re-examination of the judgment.
What do Hendricks, Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, Gustav Mckeon, and Rayyankhan Pathan have in common? Here’s your next sports trivia question: On this day, Hendricks became only the fifth player in cricket history to record four consecutive T20I fifties.
He followed up his three-wicket performance against England on Wednesday with an easy-as-pie 74. When Hendricks lofted Josh Little over the covers for six, it felt like he was in complete control. With the pull and the cut, as well as the silken cover drives he has earned his reputation on, he demonstrated both his power and his fluid strokeplay.
At 32 balls, Hendricks hit a fifty and then equaled his career-high of 74 off 53 balls.
Bigger is better when it comes to Little
After missing the first two T20Is against England, Markam was included in the XI for the third match. In both that match and this one, he instantly hit the fifty-run mark. He needed 13 balls to get his bearings before he could take on left-arm fast Josh Little, who he faced after Gareth Delany and Barry McCarthy.
With two sixes over deep square leg, four over mid-on, and four over midwicket, Markram racked up 20 runs off Little in just four deliveries. If Markram manages to score as many runs as Hendricks in the upcoming T20I, he will join him in the exclusive club.
Ireland’s powerplay, led by Tucker, put Ireland far ahead of South Africa at the same time of their innings as they could make a significant statement. In the first three overs, Captain Andy Balbirnie hit four fours before he top-edged Wayne Parnell to Pretorius at mid-on, setting the tone.
Tucker and Paul Stirling still managed to score 17 points despite the early defeat. Prior to taking on Pretorius’ slower ball, Tucker smashed Parnell over mid-off for four and over long-off for six. During the powerplay, Tucker had scored 26 runs from eight balls, which was 20 more than South Africa’s total at that point.
When Ireland needed a boost, Tucker smashed his third T20I half-century off 25 balls, putting Ireland in a position to rival South Africa.
In the end, Shamsi secures the deal.
Earlier in the week, Tabraiz Shamsi was unable to pick up a wicket at this location, but he did so today, dismissing Ireland’s most dangerous player at a critical point. When it came down to the final five overs, Tucker saw Shamsi as Ireland’s greatest hope of making the 64 runs they needed.
It took him six deliveries to get beyond long-on and four more to get past midwicket. A larger ball, though, resulted in him slog-sweeping it towards a short fine leg. A comfortable catch by De Kock ensured that Ireland’s lower order was left with too much to do.