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Simi Singh’s ton for Ireland not enough as South Africa win third ODI to level series

Team South Africa. Photo: @OfficialCSA

Dublin, July 17 (MNN) A history-making century from Ireland’s Simi Singh went in vain as South Africa won the third ODI here to level the three-match series 1-1.

On the other hand, Janneman Malan (177*) and Quinton de Kock (120) powered the visitors to 346/4 at Malahide here on Friday (local time) before a fine all-round effort with the ball saw the Proteas home by 70 runs on Friday (local time).

Chasing 347 to win was always going to prove a difficult task and by the time Singh came out to bat at 92/6, Ireland’s hopes of victory were essentially over.

Singh could not conjure up a remarkable victory for the hosts, but he still hit 100 not out from 91 balls to become the first batter to ever score an ODI ton batting at number 8.

Looking to bounce back from their first-ever ODI loss to Ireland, South Africa elected to bat and dominated proceedings as de Kock and Malan combined in a 225-run opening stand.

De Kock played the aggressor, belting five sixes and 11 fours in his 91-ball 120 before falling to Singh (1/52) in the 37th over. The wicketkeeper-batter took just 83 balls to raise his ton, racing from 50 to 100 in just 40.

Malan, playing the foil, took 126 deliveries to reach his century moments before de Kock’s dismissal. He freed up his arms after his partner’s fall. The 25-year-old finished not out on 177 off 169, hitting 22 boundaries in total including six sixes, with Rassie van der Dussen (30) the only other South African to post a score of note.

Seven matches into his ODI career, Malan is averaging 120.75 at a strike rate of 94.33, with two centuries and two half-centuries to his name.

Ireland’s chase went off the rails inside the opening eight overs as Keshav Maharaj (2/51) removed Paul Stirling (11) and Andy Balbirnie (7), and Lizaad Williams (1/62) removed Andy McBrine (9) to leave the hosts 27/3.

By the 19th over, the hosts were 92/6 and South Africa would have been planning on a quick finish from there. Instead, a 104-run stand between Curtis Campher and Singh added some pride to Ireland’s performance, with both men raising commendable half-centuries before Campher was dismissed by Andile Phehlukwayo (3/56) for 54.

Singh was only on 53 when Campher fell in the 37th over and his chances at a ton looked close to naught as No.11 Craig Young joined him when he was still only on 68

Showing impressive hitting ability, he took just 19 deliveries to score his next 32 runs to notch a dream ton.

Young, who had batted resolutely to get Singh to his ton, fell on the very next ball after the century.

The victory lifts South Africa to 10th on the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League standings with 24 points, with Ireland sitting fifth with 35.

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