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IRE vs SA: Simi Singh's record maiden hundred in vain as South Africa level series with 70 run win

Simi Singh struck a hundred, his maiden hundred in international cricket and it became the highest score by number eight batsman in the history of ODI cricket. In fact, the Ireland batsman became the first-ever player to score a hundred batting at number eight. However, that could not stop South Africa from registering an emphatic 70 run win in the third ODI to level the three-match series 1-1 after the first game was washed out by rain. 

Ireland didn’t have an ideal start to their chase and to be honest, Singh and his partner Curtis Campher were the saving grace of a sorry looking scorecard.  The hosts lost the top six wickets at the score of 92 with last match heroes skipper Andrew Balbarnie, Gorge Dockrell and Harry Tector back in the hut. 

Singh then joined Capmher and the two added 104 for the seventh wicket in just 107 balls. Post the Capmher wicket, the 34-year-old Punjab born started teeing off. In fact, he scored his last 46 runs off just 30 balls. He added 47 for the last wicket with Craig Young, but in the end, it was too much to ask for from the tailenders as Anrich Nortrje removed Young to bowl Ireland out for 276. 

For the Proteas, Andile Phehlukwayo and Tabraiz Shamsi picked up three wickets each. 

Earlier in the day, having won the toss South Africa decided to bat first and made good use of the opportunity as both openers Quinton de Kock and Janneman Malan hit centuries and added 225 for the first wicket. Malan remained unbeaten at his career-best 177 to guide the Proteas to 346 in their 50 overs. Malan was adjudged Man of the Match for his efforts.

Having drawn the ODI series, the two sides would now take on each other in the T20Is with the first of the three games being played at the same venue of The Village, Dublin, as the three ODIs.

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IRE vs SA: Janneman Malan hits career-best 177, de Kock reaches 10,000 international runs

It was an endearing watch for South African cricket fans, at least for those who would have been able to watch in the ongoing mob loot and clashes in the country, as two openers Janneman Malan and Quinton de Kock scored brilliant hundreds to propel the visitors to a huge total of 347 against hosts Ireland. Under the pump after losing the second game of the three-match series with the first match being washed out, the Proteas showed great resolve as they mounted 225 for the first wicket with both openers reaching their respective hundreds. In fact, on his way top hundred, de Kock became only the second South African wicketkeeper after Mark Boucher and only the seventh in the world to reach 10,000 international runs across all formats. Not only that, de Kock als0 became the youngest and quickest wicket-keeper batsman to reach the 10,000 run landmark in international cricket. The 28-year-old batter recorded his 16th century as a wicketkeeper opener to join Australian great Adam Gilchrist at the top of that list. He is now the fifth quickest overall and second quick among Proteas after Hashim Amla to score 16 centuries. He achieved the feat in his 124th innings while Amla did it in only 94 innings. As far as Malan is concerned, playing only his seventh ODI, the 25-year-old struck his second hundred. His score of unbeaten 177 is also the fourth-highest individual score in an ODI by any South Africa batter, the best being 188 not out by Gary Kirsten in 1996. His partnership of 225 with fellow opener de Kock is also the second-highest opening stand for South Africa in ODIs and fell short by just 10 runs off the highest partnership recorded by Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs against India in 2000. No other batter apart from these two was able to leave as imp[ressive a mark in this game. The Irish team led by Andrew Balbirnie would look to go all ou tin chase of this total and at the time writing this, they were 27-2 after seven overs.