Whenever we talk about the Irish cricket team, two of the names that always come to our minds would be Kevin O Brien & Paul Stirling. Both these players have been the best players from a small nation that never stops to impress. However, in this entire series, Paul Stirling has not lived up to the expectations everyone had from him. After getting some starts in the ODI’s, he couldn’t stay at the crease for long & gave away his wicket quite cheaply. Whereas, Kevin O Brien joined the team for the T20I’s but couldn’t make an impact either and got a golden duck.
After being completely outplayed in the 3rd ODI where we witnessed an amazing maiden century from the India-born spinner Simi Singh, and another defeat in the first T20I Ireland is likely an amazing comeback in the second T20I.
For the visitors, the first match turned out to be in their favour as they displayed tremendous bowling performance altogether as a unit. Tabraiz Shamsi, the current number 1 T20 bowler in the world never seems to disappoint as he once again scalped 4 wickets for just 27 runs for which he won the Man Of The Match award too. Apart from him, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada & George Linde also kept on maintaining the pressure and kept on taking wickets at regular intervals.
As far as the batting department is concerned, South Africa hasn’t found the perfect combinations for the T20 world cup yet. We have seen all the batsmen getting starts at different positions, but they aren’t able to make the best of it & end up giving their wicket where they shouldn’t. South African coaches have made a lot of changes in their top 6 and have literally tried every player at every spot but haven’t received the returns they expect yet.
Players to watch out for
Janneman Malan is the key player to watch out for in the South African team. We saw his capabilities in the preceding ODI series, 177* & 84 in the two innings he opened. Whenever allowed to open the batting, he has shown brilliant resilience & hasn’t disappointed the team even when everyone else was struggling to even score runs. He seems to carry Hashim Amla’s legacy forward as an opener.
For the Irishmen, Simi Singh has been the talk to the week which he rightfully deserves. Came into the side as a proper spin bowling option & stunned everyone with his ability with the bat- sounds familiar?
Yes, the modern-day great Steve Smith also came into the Australian side as a spinner and we all know where he stands now.
Though Simi has been in the highlight for the batting, people ignored his brilliance with the ball too. Where all the other bowlers were being smacked all over the park, Simi finished his spell giving just 19 runs and also taking 2 wickets.
Ground & Weather Report
The 2nd T20I between South Africa & Ireland is to be played at the Stormont Stadium, Belfast. The weather at Stormont is not expected to be as the name suggests. The pitch here is neutral, it has bounced just like all other pitches in Ireland, this will support both the bowler and the batsmen. A little bit of spin is also expected from the pitch and keep that in mind, the match is not expected to be a very high-scoring one.
Both the teams are expected to go into battle with the same playing XI’s from the previous game.
1 Paul Stirling, 2 Kevin O’Brien, 3 Andy Balbirnie (C), 4 Harry Tector, 5 George Dockrell, 6 Lorcan Tucker (WK), 7 Shane Getkate, 8 Simi Singh, 9 Barry McCarthy, 10 Josh Little, 11 Craig Young
1 Quinton de Kock (WK), 2 Temba Bavuma (C), 3 Aiden Markram, 4 Rassie van der Dussen, 5 Heinrich Klaasen/David Miller, 6 Wiaan Mulder, 7 George Linde, 8 Kagiso Rabada, 9 Anrich Nortje, 10 Lung Ngidi 11 Tabraiz Shamsi