The Proteas and Ireland will go head to head in a one-off ODI on Sunday as a pre-cursor to Australia’s tour of South Africa.
The match allows AB de Villiers and his men to fine-tune a few things before taking on the Aussies, while for the Irish, it’s a rare opportunity to have a go at a full member nation. Can the Irish pull off a shock victory or will the Proteas’ quality come to the fore? Let’s take a look:
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS PREVIEW WAS WRITTEN PRIOR TO THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT AB DE VILLIERS WAS RULED OUT OF THE IRELAND ODI.
South Africa vs Ireland | Sunday 25 September | Willowmoore Park, Benoni | 10:00
To Win Match
South Africa 1/25 | Tie 35/1 | Ireland 11/1
It’ll be interesting to see what sort of approach Russell Domingo will take to this one-off ODI. While he’ll be keen to give his bigger guns a bit of a run out, he knows all too well that this sort of match gives coaches the ideal opportunity to ease uncapped players into the international set-up.
I sincerely hope that Andile Phelukwayo gets a run out in this match in preparation for the Australian series. I was fortunate enough to see a lot of the youngster during last season’s Ram Slam T20 and Momentum One Day Cup competitions. The bowling all-rounder from KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast will be keen to show the coaching set-up as well as the selectors exactly what he can do on what promises to be a lightning-quick pitch at Willowmoore Park.
Aside from Phelukwayo’s addition to the squad, the usual suspects will make up the remainder of the side. De Villiers has returned to the side following his elbow injury sustained in the CPL earlier this year while there is still no place in the ODI squad for Morne Morkel.
Temba Bavuma will also get a chance to show his limited overs skillset. If his performance in the Momentum eKasi Challenge is anything to go by, he could well shine against this Irish side before going on to anchor an innings or two against Australia.
Interestingly enough, David Miller has received a call-up to the squad following some outstanding performances for the South African A side in the quadrangular series in Australia. The former Hollywoodbets Dolphins man finished the series with 332 runs after seven games grabbing two half-centuries as well as a 100 at an average of 110.66. Miller will be keen to nail down a regular spot in the ODI and T20 squads moving forward.
The Irish really shouldn’t pose too much of a threat to a very strong South African side as the betting seems to suggest. The Proteas will have far too much quality for the Irish who are still very much making their way in international cricket.
Having said that, these sort of matches are mutually beneficial – the Proteas will get a run around before their series against Australia, while the Irish will get to test themselves and evaluate where they need improving as a cricketing nation against world class opposition.
It’s difficult to assess the Irish team as they don’t play much cricket against full member nations, and their performances against other associates are hardly going to give us an indication of how well they’re likely to do against world class opposition.
That said, they have surprised a number of sides in major tournaments in the past, including victories over sides like Pakistan, England, and Zimbabwe in recent tournaments. They’ve brought a full strength side down with them that includes a few familiar names such as Kevin and Niall O’Brien, William Porterfield and Ed Joyce. The four have been virtual ever-presents in the side since the 2007 World Cup.
I’m most interested in seeing how Paul Stirling does on his visit to the republic. He’s a class player, and although he doesn’t ply his trade in the County Championship in England, a move can’t be very far away. The all-rounder has had some experience in an overseas franchise T20, playing for the Sylhet Super Stars. He holds an end down particularly well with the ball and possesses devastating power with the willow in hand. The South African attack will want to avoid landing the ball in his arc lest they want to be receiving the ball back from spectators behind long-on and long-off.
While there is a bit of quality about this Irish side, they simply don’t have the firepower to trouble the South Africans. Especially when you consider the fact that the teams will be playing on the Highveld.
Verdict: South Africa 1/25
Barring some miracle, South Africa will win this. Although it’s really not worth backing the home side at odds of 1/25. Rather check out the value bet below.
Verdict: Paul Stirling to top score for Ireland at 7/2
As mentioned in the match preview, Stirling is a quality limited overs batsman who enjoys the ball coming on to the bat. If he gets himself in and settled, he could well go on to help himself to a big score. Value here at 7/2 – get on!
Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.