Cricket: Ireland vs South Africa
2 Match T20 International Series
South Africa travel to Ireland, in what should be an intriguing series in the Emerald Isle, not only due to the fact the visitors are in fine form, after overcoming England last week.
Irish cricket is booming once more and they are beginning to transition nicely into the next era of players, with the likes of William Porterfield and Kevin O’Brien both having stepped away from the game at international level, presenting a whole new generation of Irish cricketers with the opportunity to impress.
They will be relishing the challenge of taking on a South Africa side that has transitioned hugely over the past couple of seasons and now looks set to take on the world’s elite in the shortest format of the game.
With Test status already secured and some excellent results against higher ranked sides in recent years, Irish cricket is continually making huge leaps forward. Andrew Balbirnie is now the leader of the side and his runs at the top of the order are essential, as are the exploits of Paul Sterling – who has developed into one of the most dangerous T20 batters in the world in recent years. Curtis Campher and Gareth Delany are two genuine all-rounders, who can change the game with both bat and ball, and they should both have an impact on this series. Mark Adair brings the X-factor of pace to the Irish attack and with support from Joshua Little and Craig Young, it is a handy looking bowling department Ireland possess.
Following an excellent T20 series win over England last month, South Africa will be keen to put down a marker here – against what should be weaker opposition. Following a superb IPL, David Miller has been entrusted with the captaincy and so far, it has been an inspired move, with the left hander prolific with the bat at international level. The likes of Aiden Markham and Reeza Hendricks are devastating when they get going, with Tristan Stubbs impressing in the early part of his career. Spin options come in the likes of Keshav Maharaj, whilst Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi are two of the quickest bowlers in international cricket.
Series Betting Tips
Top Run Scorer in Series – Reeza Hendricks – 4/1
Opening the batting seems to have brought out the best in Reeza Hendricks of late and he will be keen to carry on his good form in England, here in Ireland.
Top Bowler in the Series: Kagiso Rabada – 23/10
Genuine pace is often a real leveller at the very top of the game and Kagiso Rabada will be out to give the Irish batters a serious hurry up.
South Africa to win the series – 1/20
Ireland need to be tested against sides such as the Proteas and playing at home will be somewhat of a leveller. Whilst South Africa will be sure to rotate their squad, any side they choose to put out should be strong enough to secure a series win here.
South Africa to win the series 2-0 – 8/11
T20 internationals are always hotly contested at the top end of the game and the prospect of two hugely talented sides facing off is always appealing. Ireland will benefit from being able to play at home, with decent quality running throughout their ranks in the 20 over format but South Africa are proven at this level and with some players having something to prove too in the international game, they look to be worthy favourites to win the two game series comfortably.