Temba Bavuma became only the second South African to score a century on ODI debut and shared in a Willowmoore Park record opening stand of 159 with Quinton de Kock to set up a dominant performance in their one-off ODI against Ireland
Temba Bavuma became the second South African to score a century on ODI debut and shared in a Willowmoore Park record opening stand of 159 with Quinton de Kock to set up a dominant performance in their one-off ODI against Ireland. An 87-run fifth wicket stand in 40 balls from JP Duminy and Farhaan Behardien added to Ireland's pain before they were blown away with the ball to lose by more than 200 runs.
Ireland managed to better the 82 they scraped together against Pakistan in their last completed ODI but not by much. They collapsed against pace up front, displayed poor shot selection as the innings grew long and lost four wickets to the spin of Duminy, an unlikely hero with the ball. They will be disappointed with a showing that lacked energy in the field and at the crease.
Not only did Ireland err too much in length by routinely dropping it short, but they also squandered chances and fumbled far too many times to properly challenge a side fielding three debutants in their XI. Bavuma, Dwaine Pretorius and Andile Phehlukwayo all gave solid accounts of their abilities, none more so than Bavuma who is being looked at as a possible future opener.
In this match, Bavuma stood in for Hashim Amla, who is awaiting the birth of his third child. It was only the third time Bavuma had opened in List A cricket and the early nerves showed in leaden footwork that could have led to an early demise. In the second over, Bavuma drove carelessly at a Peter Chase delivery and got a healthy edge to second slip but Kevin O'Brien could not hold on.
De Kock shifted his weight more easily from front to back foot and Bavuma soon followed suit. The pair took advantage of Craig Young and Chase's generous lengths and Bavuma had soon caught up to de Kock's strike rate. Their half-centuries came within two overs of each other and Ireland looked out of ideas and then, out of luck.
They dropped de Kock twice in two overs, first when a slender bottom edge went through Gary Wilson's gloves and hit him in the chest and then when he pulled Young to deep midwicket but John Anderson spilled the chance and sent the ball over the boundary for four. De Kock was headed for three figures before O'Brien cramped him for room and forced an inside-edge on to leg stump
Despite the strong start, South Africa did not send in a pinch-hitter and Faf du Plessis was in at No. 3. Ireland took advantage of his cautious approach and created some pressure with three boundary-less overs before Bavuma, lacking control, top-edged Chase wide of the keeper.
Bavuma quickly composed himself, played his next pull to perfection and worked patiently through the 90s before lofting a drive a deep cover to bring up his century, off 110 balls, and cap off a breakthrough year for him as an international cricketer. In January, Bavuma scored his maiden Test century against England at Newlands; less than 10 months later, he has a first ODI century. The only other South African to reach three figures on debut was Colin Ingram, in 2010.
With the milestone out of the way, Bavuma looked to change gears but du Plessis remained stuck and saved Ireland from conceding 400, although Duminy and Behardien did their best to get close. Duminy survived an lbw appeal off Dockrell, which Ireland reviewed but replays showed he had managed a sliver of glove on the ball, and he was soon into his stride. He found the boundary through clever placement and excellent timing rather than flashy strokeplay, which he left to Behardien, who provided the impetus at the end. He scored 29 runs off eight balls, bringing up his fifty off just 21 balls, to take the South Africa total over 350.
Ireland's chase was over before it had properly begun when Porterfield was done for pace and trapped lbw by Kagiso Rabada off the second ball. The Ireland captain reviewed but the ball was pitching in line and clipping off stump. Rabada was also involved in the second dismissal, when Anderson swatted a pull to fine leg off Wayne Parnell.
Pretorius got in on the action when he had Wilson caught behind off a top edge after rushing him with a short ball and at 41 for 3 in the 11th over it was only a matter of time for Ireland. Paul Stirling and O'Brien mounted some resistance but South Africa's spinners, Aaron Phangiso and Duminy, accounted for six wickets between them. Duminy finished with a career-best 4 for 16 as Ireland lost their last seven wickets for 71 runs.