We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
The straight and one side of the square boundaries at the County Ground in Bristol are short and the pitch has been nothing but a featherbed. The outcome was 401 runs in the opening game. Despite all this, the spinners accounted for 50% of the wickets. Although the attacking lines gave away a few runs, playing on batters’ ego helped the spinners.
Time: August 5, 11 PM IST
Probable XI for Ireland: Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie (c), Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Gareth Delany, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Andy McBrine, Joshua Little
Anrich Nortje was rested for the first game. At whose expense he plays the second game is something we will know at the toss. Meanwhile, there is no fresh update on David Miller’s niggle.
Probable XI for South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, Tristan Stubbs, Wayne Parnell/Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj (c), Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi
Reeza Hendricks continued where he left off. He hammered his fourth consecutive fifty in T20Is, becoming the first South African to achieve the feat. The flat English conditions seem to have suited his style of play.
The addition of Aiden Markram back to the T20 setup has worked in South Africa’s favour. He followed his fifty in the final T20I against England with another match-defining knock of 56 off 27 against Ireland. Given the way the mainstay bowlers performed, his off-break services were not needed. He otherwise has a knack for dismissing the big guns.
Lorcan Tucker continued the onslaught despite Ireland losing wickets at regular wickets. During his knock of 78 off 38, he saw 5 wickets fall at the other end and yet his game remained unaffected. Before this innings, he had blasted 77 off 33 in the Irish T20 League last week.
In the same tournament, George Dockrell’s performances read 68* and 0 for 32, 69* and 2 for 5, and 1* and 3 for 13. The 43 off 28 in the first game was a result of consistent hard work in the domestic circuit.
Between them, the spin duo of Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi took 4 for 66 in 8 overs. Shamsi especially has been on a roll: his last three bowling figures read 3 for 27, 5 for 24, and 2 for 37. During the same period, Maharaj took 5 wickets. They have been a favourite fantasy pair of late.
Lungi Ngidi’s smart use of slower balls has been consistently fetching him wickets at Bristol, where he has managed six wickets in two T20Is.
Tristan Stubbs’ striking at any point of the game has been breathtaking. He bats as valiantly in the middle overs as he does at the death. The advantage of picking him in fantasy teams is that he is used as a floater.
In his last five professional T20s, Gareth Delany has taken five wickets and registered the highest score of 25*.
21 off 7 with the bat, 1 for 44 with the ball, and two catches: Dwayne Pretorius did it all in the first game. He can also be a useful operator at the death, especially given South Africa’s dearth in the department.
Fantasy fans may not fret over Harry Tector’s six off eight in the first game. He has been Ireland’s best batter in 2022 in the format. In nine T20Is, he has scored two fifties, two thirties, and two twenties.
Quinton de Kock has collected a mere 24 runs in his last 4 T20Is. This came after his blazing 92* in the final ODI against England last month. The pressure of starting the innings on fire seems to be affecting him.
It was just another day for South Africa to stamp their authority in the format. They have won seven of the last 10 T20Is.
On the other hand, Ireland faced their seven consecutive T20I loss, although they gave South Africa a scare only to painfully fall short by 21 runs in a mammoth chase of 211. Although they put up a brave effort with the bat, they were indisciplined with the ball. They bowled 13 wides and further worsened it by bowling easy lengths.