Ireland target famous series win

14 July 2021 22:07:50 GMTPlus10

Ireland batsman Andrew Balbirnie says winning a one-day series against South Africa would be an "unprecedented" achievement.

The opener's century on Tuesday helped the Irish take a 1-0 lead over the Proteas in Dublin and they are 5.50 to beat the 1.14 tourists in Friday's final match, with Balbirnie 13.00 to be named player of the match.

Ireland had lost all five of their one-day matches against South Africa before this series and they were frustrated when rain ended the first ODI after they had reached 195-4 in the 41st over.

Their batsmen continued their fine form in Tuesday's second game at Malahide Cricket Club where Balbirnie's innings of 102, Harry Tector's 79, and a 23-ball 45 from George Dockrell powered them to a total of 290-5.

A one-off win is great but to win the series is so important.

Andrew Balbirnie

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South Africa opener Janneman Malan (84) helped his side reach 159-2 in the run-chase but his dismissal sparked a middle-order collapse and an excellent Ireland bowling unit sealed a 43-run victory.

The Proteas could recall opener Quinton de Kock and fast bowler Lungi Ngidi, both rested on Tuesday, for the final game of the series but Ireland will be fired up by the prospect of a remarkable triumph against their star-studded opponents.

Speaking after the victory, Balbirnie said: "We now have our first win against South Africa and it would be unprecedented to get a series win. A one-off win is great but to win the series is so important.

"We've beaten big teams before but we haven't beaten them consistently. We don't have the players these teams have, we don't have the infrastructure or the exposure. When we do play these big teams, we get the most out of these games and we try to put in our best performance."

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