Half-centuries from Temba Bavuma and Reeza Hendricks along with a solid bowling performance handed South Africa a 49-run victory over Ireland to seal the three-match T20 Internationals 3-0 at the Civil Service Cricket Club in Belfast on Saturday.
Man-of-the-match Bavuma registered his maiden T20 fifty, scoring six boundaries and two sixes from 51 balls before being caught by Mark Adair from the bowling of Barry McCarthy (4-0-40-1) for 72 while Hendricks faced 48 deliveries for his 69, which included seven boundaries and one six after Bavuma had won the toss and elected to bat first.
The pair shared in a measured opening stand of 127 from 93 balls to lay the platform for their total of 189 for two before George Linde (4-0-21-2), Wiaan Mulder (2-0-10-2) and Lizaad Williams (4-0-30-2) helped restrict the Ireland side to 140 for nine.
Once Hendricks departed, caught by Lorcan Tucker behind the stumps off Simi Singh (4-0-27-1), the platform had been laid for man-of-the-series David Miller to stride out and continue the form he showed in the previous T20 when he blasted an unbeaten 75 from just 44 balls.
Miller struck four boundaries and a six from just 17 balls to end unbeaten on 36 despite a hamstring strain while adding 32 runs off 16 balls for the second wicket with Bavuma and then an unbeaten 30 from 14 balls with Heinrich Klaasen (7 not out) for the third wicket.
But Ireland were never in the chase. Linde claimed the wicket of the out of form Kevin O’Brien (2), top-edging to Janneman Malan, who was on the field for the injured Miller, at backward square-leg.
Paul Sterling (18) and captain Andy Balbirnie (27) added 27 for the second wicket from 21 deliveries, but Williams had Sterlin caught from a leading edge by Beuran Hendricks at third man.
Balbirnie, who stroked four boundaries from 22 deliveries, shared in a third-wicket stand of 33 from 25 balls with Tucker (19) but once Balbirnie departed, trapped in front by Linde, the writing was on the wall.
Mulder picked up the wickets of Tucker, caught behind by Klaasen, and Harry Tector (5), brilliantly caught by Aiden Markram on the long-on fence, in his first over before Andile Phehlukwayo (2-0-15-1) had Shane Getkate caught behind for just 11.
Singh (5) and Adair (8) were run out by Bavuma and Phehlukwayo respectively before Williams had Craig Young (22) caught by Mulder after having struck three fours and a six.
McCarthy (13 not out) and debutant Ben White (2 not out) saw out the rest of the innings and frustrated the visitors from bowling out the home side.
IRELAND: Paul Stirling, Kevin O Brien, Andrew Balbirnie (capt), Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Shane Getkate, Simi Singh, Mark Adair, Craig Young, Barry McCarthy, Benjamin White
SOUTH AFRICA: Temba Bavuma (capt), Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Wiaan Mulder, Andile Phehlukwayo, George Linde, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Lizaad Williams