Ireland vs South Africa: Winnable factors for second T20I
Sportsbet.io discusses the key factors that will decide who seals a win in the second T20I between Ireland and South Africa.
Bat first or second
Belfast is set to host its first T20I match since 2015, where teams batting second have won six of nine matches. Considering how South Africa began the series, the odds back the visitors to win the toss and chase first.
Head to head record
South Africa opened their T20I account against Ireland with a 33-run victory, and have taken a 1-0 lead in the head to head record. Fancy another win for the Proteas although hosts Ireland have the resources to stage a formidable comeback and take the series to a decider on Saturday.
Andy Balbirnie needs 33 runs to become the fifth Irish player to reach 1000 T20I runs. With the pressure on Kevin O'Brien to shrug off his recent slump, the seasoned Balbirnie could power the hosts to a win on Thursday.
South Africa, meanwhile, will entrust Aiden Markram to shine with the bat. The 26-year-old top-scored for the Proteas in the first T20I, and will look to consolidate his tally of 331 runs in his last eight games.
Tabraiz Shamsi has so far been the pick of the bowlers in the IRE vs SA T20I series, and is rated as the top bowler to watch out on Thursday. The spinner has taken 21 T20I wickets in 2021, and will be eager to spell trouble for the Irish batters.
Ireland's Simi Singh will be the bowler South Africa will be wary of in the upcoming fixture. The spinner has grabbed 11 wickets in his last eight games at an economy rate of 7.84, and will be aiming to build upon his return spell of 2/19 from the first fixture in the second T20I.
Words: William Paul