South Africa v Ireland, 1st ODI, Review: South Africa knocks out Ireland in a lop sided contest

Temba Bavuma
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Temba Bavuma. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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South Africa, rallying on Temba Bavuma’s record-breaking century and JP Duminy’s all-round performance, beat Ireland by a massive 206 runs margin in an one-sided contest at the Willowmoore Park, Benoni. Ireland stood no chance to compete today against the superior South Africans.

The Proteas flexed their batting muscle and posted a formidable 354/5 after being offered the chance to bat first by the Irish skipper William Porterfield. The visitors made Porterfield regret this decision in no time as South Africa’s new opening pair of debutant Temba Bavuma and the newly-wed Quinton de Kock smothered his bowlers and piled up a huge first wicket stand of 159 runs.

The pair batted smoothly and looked in no trouble whatsoever. There was contrasting approach from both the ends – aggression from one end by De Kock and calculated risks from the other end by Bavuma. Runs came easily off their bat making the Irish bowler look like complete amateurs.

However, it wasn’t like Ireland didn’t have their chances. The second over itself brought an opportunity. Ireland could have an easier game had Kevin O Brien not failed to big an early chance at first slips offered by Temba Bavuma.

South Africa then sailed through the 50 run mark in the 9th over and the 100 run mark by the 16th over. De Kock’s boundary in the deep square leg boundary brought the three-figure mark as well as completed hi serene fifty.

By the time, the drinks was at the end of 18th over Bavuma had also completed his fifty and Ireland were left desperately looking for ways to end the wicket drought. Luck had its way of playing wit Oreland today.

The 20th over gave another chance to break the stand. But, wicket keeper Wilson messed up a tough chance when he was unable to grab De Kock’s inside edge off a miscued pull shot behind the wickets off Kevin O’ Brien’s bowling.

In the very next over De Kock offered another chance, a straightforward one this time when he pulled a one straight to John Anderson at mid-wicket. Unfortunately, Anderson spilt the catch diverting the ball for four extra runs.

Fortunately, the lucky wait ended soon when O’ Brien cleaned up De Kock 18 runs short of his century and give Ireland the desperate breakthrough. The dry spell ended but the pair had done the damage, adding up 159 for the first wicket and creating the perfect environment for the rest of the other to come and smother the Irish bowlers.

As anticipated, JP Duminy (52 from 43 balls) and Farhaan Behardien (50 from 22 balls) cracked quick fifties to propel the South African team total a 354/5.

Bavuma pushed the accelerator after De Kock’s departure but his skipper Faf du Plessis looked off colours and could make any significant contribution to the total. The duo added 62 runs for the 2nd wicket before both departed in quick successions in the 36th and 38th respectively. However, the Proteas had nothing to bother as Duminy and Behardien then delivered the final punch with their 87 runs stand in just 6.4 overs.

Ireland, in response, was very sub-standard with the bat, losing two of their top order men inside the first powerplay. Skipper William Porterfield was removed by Rabada off the second delivery in the first over. The next to go was John Anderson who was dismissed by Wayne Parnell in the sixth over.

Wickets continued to tumble and no resistance could be seen from the Irish. Debutant Pretorius picked his maiden wicket in the form of Gary Wilson. Paul Stirling, who was the only source of runs from one end when the top order was crumbling, also was made to depart for 40 by left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso.

Kevin O’ Brien (41) and Sean Terry (16) stayed in the middle for a while but could not make any difference. George Dockrell (16) and Tim Murtagh (13*) also hung in the middle for some time. But, JP Duminy looked in a bit of a hurry and quickly wiped off the tail-enders to wrap off Ireland for just 148.

Brief Scores:

South Africa: 354/5 (T Bavuma 113; C Young 3/81)

Ireland: 148 all out (Kevin O Brien 40; JP Duminy 4/16)

Man of the Match: T Bavuma