David Miller was the difference as he hit an unbeaten 75 to help South Africa win the Twenty20 series by 42 runs over Ireland.
South Africa was 58-5 after 10 overs, but Miller and Wiaan Mulder led the charge to a total of 159-7. Ireland’s outstanding bowling performance was squandered. The Irish batsmen were reduced to 56-5 after 10 overs, but they lacked a Miller to thrash the bowlers. With three balls remaining, Ireland was all out for 117. With the third and final T20 set for Saturday in Belfast, South Africa has an unbeatable 2-0 advantage.
The Proteas had a rough start. Offspinner Paul Stirling dismissed Temba Bavuma and Janneman Malan for ducks in the first over. Miller took advantage of being dropped behind the wickets on 19 by Josh Little. In a 58-ball stand, he and Mulder recovered the damage. Miller went on to score 24 runs off Little’s final over, including three sixes going over the deep backward leg.
Ireland was in a similar situation to South Africa, with a score of 56-5 after 10 overs, but they were unable to turn things around. Shane Getkate, a South African-born allrounder, led the way with 24 runs. Bjorn Fortuin caught and bowled opener Kevin O’Brien for his third consecutive duck. The left-arm offspinner earned 3-16 plus a maiden.
Tabraiz Shamsi, a left-arm spinner took 3-14 from four overs, while Lungi Ngidi took 1-14.