Simi Singh makes his mark for Ireland as South Africa level up series

All-rounder makes first international century during third ODI in Malahide

 

South Africa 346-4 (J Malan 177no, Q de Kock 120; J Little 2-53) beat Ireland 276 (Simi Singh 100 no, C Campher 54; T Shamsi 3-46, A Phehlukwayo 3-56, K Maharaj 2-51) by 70 runs

A series win proved a game too far for Ireland as South Africa completed a comfortable 70 runs victory in the final match of their World Cup Super League clashes in Malahide.

The tourists’ total of 346 for four was 15 more than Ireland had chased before but although the result was a foregone conclusion when Ireland collapsed to 31 for three and 92 for six, Simi Singh kept the interest and entertainment alive with a maiden international century.

With support from Craig Young in a last wicket stand of 47, Singh went from 64 to 100 in 20 balls to the delight of his team-mates and the 560-capacity crowd and no one cared when Young was out next ball.

“Simi spends more time in the nets than anyone else,” said captain Andrew Balbirnie afterwards. “He works so hard on his game and has grown into a top all-rounder for us.

“I thought he also bowled well today and to get his maiden century from number eight was a credit not just to him but to the guys who hung around with him.”

South Africa have now scored three of the top six totals that Ireland have conceded in ODIs but they had to bring in their “big gun” today.

Their plan had been to rest Quinton de Kock – their star batsman in the recent series against West Indies – for these three games but after losing on Tuesday, two days after the first was abandoned, the emergency siren was sounded for him and, like the class batsman he is, responded by scoring his 15th ODI century and also brought up his 10,000th international run.

The Ireland bowlers had no answer to the opening stand of 225 – a record for South Africa against Ireland – between De Kock and Janneman Malan and indeed the latter batted through the innings to finish 177 not out, just two runs shy of John Campbell’s highest individual score against Ireland for West Indies at Clontarf two years ago.

De Kock was comfortably the fastest scorer, his 120 coming off just 91 balls with 11 fours and five sixes, before his innings was ended by Singh’s worst ball of the day, a long hop he pulled to deep square.

“I felt we were still in the game at the halfway stage,” Balbirnie added. “It’s a fast-scoring ground and big scores have been chased down here a lot. But we started poorly with the bat, lost three early wickets and were always behind the rate.”

The biggest blow was another failure for Paul Stirling whose woes at Malahide continue – he has only one half-century in 13 innings – but, in contrast, Curtis Campher continues to impress at international level, compiling his fourth half-century in his first eight innings in a 104-run seventh wicket stand with Singh.

The teams are back at Malahide on Monday in the first of three T20 games as preparation begins in earnest for the T20 World Cup in October, when Ireland have been put in a preliminary group with Sri Lanka, Netherlands and Namibia.

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