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South Africa caught napping on Ireland’s Super Tuesday

By seven wickets, 42 runs (after their opponents were dismissed in 31 overs), 131 runs, 201 runs, and 206 runs, respectively. In the completed ODIs between the teams, those were the margins of victory for South Africa. That is, before Tuesday’s match at Malahide.

The Home Side’s Highest against South Africa

The home side’s total of 290/5 was their highest against South Africa, and it was only the eighth time they had scored as much as 290 runs against a Test-playing team. Then they bowled out the visitors for 247 runs to win by 43 runs, a larger margin of victory than they had had against all Test-playing teams save Bangladesh and Afghanistan in terms of runs.

A Momentum Shifter

South Africa’s bowlers threw too many wide and short balls, while too many others veered towards the batters’ pads. Not the least of the implications was Ireland’s 95-run last-ten-overs total, which Balbirnie later described as “a massive momentum-shifter.” “That was criminal from us,” Temba Bavuma said.

“Short and wide is a never a plan,” Bavuma said. “I’d like to give the bowlers the benefit of the doubt, and put it down to [poor] execution. In saying that, it’s been happening all too often. We find ourselves out there in the field trying to defend both sides of the field.

“When it comes to death bowling, we’ve had conversations. I think we’ve exhausted them. Those conversations need to be translated into action. There are guys on the sidelines who have shown the skill. There’s a strong case for those guys to get that opportunity.”

Kagiso Rabada Run out

By the time Kagiso Rabada was pronounced run out in the 47th over, the game had already been over, but nothing summed up South Africa’s day better. Mark Adair’s waist-high full toss was pounded by Keshav Maharaj to deep square leg, where Curtis Campher caught it. Rabada seemed to have stopped running after concluding the ball was dead.

“It was a strange bit of cricket; something that I’ve never seen before,” Balbirnie said.

“It’s a huge moment,” Balbirnie said. “We haven’t beaten too many of the big teams at home. We showed a lot of fight and played smart cricket. It’s one of my proudest days being involved with the Irish team.”

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