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Hosts Ireland take on South Africa in the first T20 of the 3-match series at The Village in Dublin on Monday afternoon. It will be the very first time that these two countries face off in the shortest format of the game.

Ireland were unable to secure a historic series victory against South Africa, losing the third ODI by 70 runs, which resulted in a 1-1 drawn series. It is still an excellent outcome for a side not used to facing a full-playing side like South Africa. A fantastic inning from Simi Singh underlined his batting credentials ahead of this series and the T20 World Cup. Veteran all-rounder Kevin O’Brien returns to the top of the order and will be key here, alongside the likes of Stirling and captain Balbirnie. There are likely to be 4 seamers in the playing XI, with Shane Getkate, Barry McCarthy, Josh Little, and Craig Young.

After a surprise defeat in the second ODI, South Africa got their act together in the final game and secured a tied series. The return of Quinton de Kock after a period of rest was crucial as he continued his incredible form with a majestic knock. Rassie van der Dussen, Markram and Miller will form a strong power-hitting middle order. In terms of bowling, captain Bavuma has plenty of bowling options to choose from, with fast bowlers Rabada and Nortje likely to come into the team after being rested. Expect the all-rounder duo of Mulder and Linde to get a game too.

The T20 has been a more preferred format for Ireland over the last few years as they have been far more productive, winning 11 times in 21 matches. On the other hand, the Proteas have won just 8 times out of their 23 matches played. Expect both the teams to go hard at each other in this opening T20 with a major global event looming not far off.

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Match Details

  • Match: Ireland vs. South Africa, 1st T20
  • Venue: The Village, Dublin
  • Date & Time: Jul. 19, 2021, at 8:30 PM IST/4 PM Local

Probable Playing XI


Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien, Andrew Balbirnie (C), Harry Tector, George Dockrell, Lorcan Tucker (WK), Simi Singh, Shane Getkate, Barry McCarthy, Josh Little, Craig Young

South Africa

Quinton de Kock (WK), Temba Bavuma (C), Aiden Markram, Janneman Malan, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, George Linde, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Lizaad Williams

Weather and Pitch Report

The weather is expected to be mostly sunny in Dublin throughout the match. The temperature will be around 20 degrees during the game.

As seen in the last ODI played on this surface, a high-scoring game is on the cards in Dublin. Although the pace bowlers should get some help early in the innings, the batsmen will be comfortable playing attacking shots. The spinners will also come into play as the match progresses. The average first-innings score in the last five T20Is played here has been 187 runs.

Given the clear weather and good batting conditions on offer, the captain winning the toss is likely to opt to chase. A first-innings score of around 190 runs can be a competitive one on this surface.

Top Fantasy Picks


  • Paul Stirling had a poor ODI series against South Africa, scoring just 51 runs in three matches. He is very experienced in this format of the game, having played in a lot of T20 leagues. Overall, he has made 2124 runs in 78 T20Is, at a strike rate of 139.27 and the highest score of 95.
  • Harry Tector had a good ODI series against the strong bowling attack of South Africa, scoring 129 runs in three matches, with the highest score of 75. He showed his power-hitting and finishing skills in that innings. Expect something similar from him here too. 
  • Josh Little was the pick of the bowlers for Ireland in the ODI series against South Africa. He took 4 wickets in two matches at an economy rate of 5.15. He picked up 11 wickets in the recent domestic T20 tournament, with best figures of 3 for 8.

South Africa

  • Quinton de Kock has been in scintillating form with the bat in the last few months. He had a successful T20I series against the West Indies, scoring 255 runs in five matches at an average of 51. He followed that up with a brilliant century in the final ODI against the hosts. 
  • Aiden Markram had a decent start to his T20I career against the West Indies and Pakistan at home, with 310 runs in nine matches at an average of 34.44. It included 3 consecutive half centuries at home against Pakistan and a 70 in the final T20 against the West Indies. 
  • Tabraiz Shamsi is the No. 1 T20I bowler and was adjudged the Player of the Series against the West Indies. He picked up 7 wickets and had an economy rate of just 4 runs an over against the power-hitters of the opposition team. He has already taken 5 wickets in the three ODIs played here. 

Howzat Dream Team

  • Wicketkeeper: Q de Kock 
  • Batters: P Stirling, H Tector, A Markram, D Miller
  • All-rounders: G Dockrell, M Adair, G Linde
  • Bowlers: J Little, K Rabada, T Shamsi
  • Captain: P Stirling/Q de Kock
  • Vice Captain: H Tector/A Markram

NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can make your fantasy 11 and play fantasy cricket matches. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the team suggested.

Get fantasy cricket tips on your favorite fantasy sports app and select your own team, Howzat!

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