Captain Andy Balbirnie scores a stellar ton as Ireland stun the Proteas with a 43-run win

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On the back of a magnificent century by their Captain Andy Balbirnie, Ireland won their first-ever One-Day International victory over South Africa with a win by 43 runs in the second match of their three-game series in Malahide on Tuesday. The first game was washed out due to heavy rain. Hence, Ireland cannot lose the three-match series. 

The Way Our Bowlers Bowled in The Middle And at The Death Was Amazing: Andrew Balbirnie

Balbirnie and veteran Paul Stirling gave Ireland an excellent start. Their opening stand of 64 gave a crucial start to the Irish. Skipper Andy Balbirnie’s score of 102 of 117, Henry Hector’s quickfire 79 of 68 balls, and Dockrell’s blistering knock of 45 of just 23 balls powered Ireland to a good total of 290.

South African pacers Rabada and Nortje had an average outing in the field. All-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo was the most expensive South African bowler who gave 73 runs in his quota of 10 overs.

In reply, South Africa found it tough to keep up with the run rate and Ireland’s consistent bowling. Their marquee batsman, Quinton de Kock was given rest for the series. When their opener Janneman Malan (84 from 96) and Rassie van der Dussen (49 from 70) fell in quick succession with the score on 160, their chances of victory slipped away.

Irish bowlers bowled disciplined line and length. They bundled out the South Africans for 247. They used six bowling options in the match and all of them took at least one wicket with a decent economy rate. Left-arm pacer Joshua Little had the best figures of 2 for 45 in his quota of 10 overs.

“It is a huge day for cricket in Ireland”: Captain Andy Balbirnie

Andy Balbirnie hits ton as Ireland claim historic ODI victory over South Africa | The Independent

In the post-match interview, Skipper Balbirnie said he was very proud of his group. He was very happy with the all-round performance his team gave against a quality side. His main target is to win the series on Friday.

” It was a win that we really needed. I thought we outfielded them today, which made the difference. Tector’s freedom while batting was a match-winning. We’ll enjoy this – it’s the first time we have beaten them and it’s a huge day for Ireland. We will have a few beers, it’s not everyday that you beat a team of this stature but we have another target in mind, that is to win the series on Friday.”

 “I couldn’t be prouder of this group. Facing players of the calibre of Rabada and co. and coming out with a decent score, that’s why you play international cricket. We’re pushing hard to get maximum League points this series, “ said Balbirnie.

Our fielding let us down: South African captain Temba Bavuma

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South African captain Temba Bavuma praised Ireland for nailing them down with their skills with bat and ball. He expects better fielding performance from his team as they have set high standards.

“We didn’t take it lightly, but they outplayed us in all facets. Their fielding was impressive. They nailed their batting and bowling skills too, and we need to do a lot of work. The plan for us in the first PP was taking wickets and we couldn’t do so. “

The final ODI will be on Friday 16 July. Ireland would like to create history by defeating a major team in a bilateral series for the first time.

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