• Proteas set for changes as Bavuma calls for action

    Proteas
    Temba Bavuma

    Proteas ODI captain Temba Bavuma has suggested it’s time for action rather than talking, and that changes are set to be made to the South African team.

    On Tuesday, Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie led from the front with a hundred as his side beat South Africa for the first time in an ODI with a 43-run success at Malahide.

    Balbirnie’s 102, his seventh hundred at this level, was the centrepiece of Ireland’s 290-5.

    South Africa could only manage 247 all out in reply as the hosts took an unassailable 1-0 lead in a series reduced to two matches following Sunday’s washout, although the Proteas can square the campaign by winning on Friday.

    Ireland’s victory also gave them 10 points in the World Cup Super League, which will qualify teams for the 2023 50-over showpiece in India.

    Ireland white-ball wins over established Test nations, once restricted to World Cups, are no longer the shocks of old with Tuesday’s triumph following a defeat of England in Southampton last year.

    Balbirnie, opening the innings, batted until the 42nd over before Harry Tector added impetus with a dashing 79 off 68 balls, which included six fours and four sixes.

    Tector and George Dockrell (45) boosted the total with a fourth-wicket stand of 90.

    South Africa did not help themselves by dropping four catches, with Balbirnie reprieved on 74.

    They also rested star batsman Quinton de Kock for a second successive match and left out fast bowler Lungi Ngidi.

    Commenting on the shock result, Bavuma did not hold back.

    “We were totally outplayed in all facets of the game. With the decision to bowl first, you’re always looking to strike up front and unfortunately we weren’t able to do that,” Bavuma said.

    “We didn’t create enough chances throughout the innings and we weren’t able to exploit the conditions. From a fielding point of view, we didn’t rock up. If you compare our fielding to theirs, it was chalk and cheese.”

    The Proteas embarrassingly conceded 95 runs in the last 10 over, with 65 in fact coming off the last 30 balls.

    “Short and wide is never a plan,” Bavuma said. “We had the run rate in check but going through that last phase, I think they had about 100 in the last 10. It was criminal for us.

    “I’d like to give the bowlers the benefit of the doubt, and put it down to [poor] execution. In saying that, it’s been happening all too often. We find ourselves out there in the field trying to defend both sides of the field.

    “When it comes to death bowling, we’ve had conversations. I think we’ve exhausted them. Those conversations need to be translated into action. There are guys on the sidelines who have shown the skill. There’s a strong case for those guys to get that opportunity.”

    He added that the fielding, and dropped catches were unacceptable.

    “Those are not standards we pride ourselves on,” he said.

    “Dropping catches is always going to make things harder. If you look back at the catches we’ve dropped, they were very costly for us.”

    • Additional reporting by AFP

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