Captain Andy Balbirnie scored a stylish century as Ireland recorded their first ever One-Day International victory over South Africa with a win by 43 runs in the second match of their five-game series in Malahide on Tuesday.
Ireland beat 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 Netherlands earlier this year, Ireland’s 2023 World Cup ambitions somewhat got back on track.
They have also taken an unassailable lead in the ODI series, which has been reduced to two matches after Sunday washout.
The third match in the series will be played at the same venue on Friday, which is a must win for South Africa to avoid conceding the trophy.
Balbirnie stroked 102 from 117 balls as the home side posted 290 for five in their 50 overs, before restricting the tourists to 247 all out in their reply to secure the historic victory and a 1-0 lead in the series after Sunday’s opener was washed out.
After being sent in to bat, opener Balbirnie received excellent support from Harry Tector (79 from 68 balls), while there was also a flourish from George Dockrell (45 from 23) at the end.
South Africa, who again rested key batsman Quinton de Kock, battled to keep up with the run-rate throughout and when opener Janneman Malan (84 from 96) and Rassie van der Dussen (49 from 70) fell in quick succession with the score on 160, their chances of victory slipped away.
We've done it!
— Cricket Ireland (@cricketireland) July 13, 2021
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) July 13, 2021