South Africa's Tabraiz Shamsi in action during the first T20 international against Ireland at Malahide on Monday. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO/Shutterstock
South Africa's Tabraiz Shamsi in action during the first T20 international against Ireland at Malahide on Monday. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO/Shutterstock

Tabraiz Shamsi spins Proteas to series opening T20I win against Ireland

By Zaahier Adams Time of article published Jul 19, 2021

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CAPE TOWN – South Africa's spinners and pacemen combined in perfect harmony to set up a comfortable 33-run victory in the first T20I against Ireland in Malahide.

It was the first time these two teams met in a T20 International.

World No 1 T20 bowler Tabraiz Shamsi showed his class once again with haul of 4/27, while fellow left-arm spinner George Linde claimed 2/26. Fast bowler Lungi Ngidi brought the heat with a return of 2/18 that ensured Ireland's good work with the ball earlier came to nothing.

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For much of the afternoon, this was a surface that troubled all the batsmen. Precious few gained any joy from it, with South Africa requiring a middle-order rebuild to eventually haul themselves to competitive total of 165/7.

South Africa - like Ireland - lost three wickets in the Powerplay, which according to the statistics is usually a recipe for defeat in a T20I. But Aiden Markram, who dropped down to No 4 to accommodate Janneman Malan's return to the T20 team, was one of the few batsman to play with any fluency in his 30-ball 39 (2x4, 2x6). He recieved solid support from Rassie van der Dussen (25 off 18 balls) and David Miller (28 off 21 balls) before Kagiso Rabada belted four consecutive boundaries in the final over of the innings.

Rabada's lusty blows swung the momentum in South Africa's favour and Linde ensured it remained with the visitors when the Ireland run chase began. Although Paul Sterling swept the first ball of the Irish innings for six, Linde responded the very next ball by uprooting the burly opener's middle stump.

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It started a procession that saw Ireland's top order decimated as the hosts slumped to 46/5 in the eighth over. And although the Irish tail once again showed their customary resolve, the damage had been inflicted upfront.

It was by no means a faultless performance from the Proteas with questions remaining around the composition of their top order, particularly after four openers were utilised in this series opener.

Their fielding, particularly the catching, also remains very much a concern with a couple of chances being spilled yet again.

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And the death bowling also remains a work in progress as Ireland's unbroken last wicket stand of 44 between Barry McCarthy (30*) and Josh Little (15*) was the biggest partnership of the innings.

However, this Proteas T20 team have now seemingly found a way of winning even when they are not performing at optimum levels and that is essentially a good thing as they build towards the T20 World Cup in October.

First T20I

South Africa: 165/7 (Markram 39, Miller 28, Van der Dussen 25, Adair 3/39, Singh 2/29)

Ireland: 132/9 (McCarthy 30*, Shamsi 4/27, Ngidi 2/18, Linde 2/26)

South Africa win by 33 runs, lead the series 1-0

@ZaahierAdams

IOL Sport

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