We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
Pitch Report for County Ground in Bristol
Three out of four T20Is have been won by the teams chasing at the County Ground in Bristol. It took England a colossal score of 235 to successfully defend against South Africa last week. Smaller ground dimensions, coupled with a flatter wicket, saw 427 runs being scored.
Time: August 3, 11.00 PM IST
Probable Playing XIs for Ireland & South Africa
Probable XI for Ireland: Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie (c), Gareth Delany, Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, Lorcan Tucker (wk), George Dockrell, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy/Andy McBrine, Craig Young, Joshua Little
Probable XI for South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram, Rilee Rossouw, Tristan Stubbs, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi
Power Players for the Match
With three consecutive half-centuries, Reeza Hendricks finished the England series as the leading run-getter (180 at 60). He also ended up scoring 69 off 48 when he last played against Ireland in Belfast in 2021.
In the recently concluded series, England found Lungi Ngidi’s seam bowling hard to deal with. His ploy of changing the pace and length at regular intervals helped him bag 7 wickets, including the best figures of 5 for 39 at Bristol.
Rilee Rossouw’s return to the South African squad after several years brought out the best in him. He smashed 131 runs in 3 innings, including the highest score of 96 off only 55 balls. His gutsy approach at the top bodes well for the Proteas.
After being plundered (0 for 49) to all corners of the ground at Bristol, Tabraiz Shamsi responded by picking 8 wickets in the last two matches against England, including the best figures of 5 for 24 at Southampton.
Smart Picks for the Match
It will be interesting to see how the relatively inexperienced Irish batters deal with the hostility of the South African pacer Anrich Nortje. His pace and bounce could rattle them in the powerplay.
Although Quinton de Kock could manage only 17 runs in the 3 T20Is against England, he kept the fantasy players happy by inflicting 8 dismissals behind the stumps. Against Ireland, he has scores of 27 and 20 in the format.
Ireland will need Paul Stirling to help them with a rollicking start with the bat. While he wasn’t close to his best in the first two games against New Zealand, his innings of 40 in the last game should have restored his confidence.
Besides taking 2 wickets, Mark Adair also helped fantasy players by scoring 89 runs at 44 in 3 T20Is against New Zealand. Interestingly, he also generated bonus points by hitting the joint-most sixes (5) for the series.
In the New Zealand series, Joshua Little was the surprise package with the ball for the hosts. He finished as the leading wicket-taker (8 at 12.38). More often than not, he tends to operate at the death.
After his heroics against India (64* and 39), Harry Tector seems to have gone off the boil slightly (30 runs in 3 innings against New Zealand). That said, there is enough potential in him to make a difference with the willow going forward.
Ireland vs South Africa 1st T20I Match Preview
South Africa will be brimming with confidence after beating England on their own turf last week. The margin of victory at Southampton further highlights the variety and depth in their squad. On the other hand, Ireland recently got drubbed 3-0 against New Zealand at home. They have never beaten South Africa in the format and will have to punch way above their weight to stun the mighty Proteas.