Andy Balbirnie century sets up Ireland’s upset against South Africa

Ireland have beaten South Africa for the first time in seven ODIs and taken 10 World Cup Super League points to advance to fifth spot on the points table.

After upsetting England last year, then losing a series to the Netherlands earlier this year, Ireland’s 2023 World Cup ambitions are somewhat back on track.

They have also taken an unassailable lead in the ODI series, which has been reduced to two matches after Sunday washout which means Friday’s finale is a must-win for South Africa to avoid conceding the trophy.

It was also lucky No. 7 for Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie, who brought up his seventh ODI century to set the innings up.

Balbirnie opened the batting and built the innings until the 42nd over before handing over to Harry Tector, who smashed 79 off 68 balls to take Ireland to their highest total against South Africa.

Tector and George Dockrell put on 90 for the fourth wicket at a scoring rate of 11.73 to set South Africa a tough target of 291.

South Africa partly had themselves to blame for the task they gave their batters.

They dropped four catches – Paul Stirling on 6 and 10, Tector on 0 and Balbirnie on 74 – and lost their lengths at the death.

The attack conceded 103 runs in the last 10 overs. Contrastingly, South Africa lost 8 for 88 between the 32nd and 49th overs and needed 102 runs off the last 10 overs but were unable to keep up with the required scoring rate.

Summarized scores: Ireland 290 for 5 v (Balbirnie 102, Tector 79, Dockrell 45) beat South Africa 247 (Malan 84, McBrine 2-34) by 43 runs

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