South Africa 189 for 2 (Bavuma 72, Hendricks 69) beat Ireland 140 for 9 (Balbirnie 27, Mulder 2-10, Linde 2-21) by 49 runs
Belfast: South African captain Temba Bavuma finished his tour of Ireland in style, notching his first T20I half-century.
Off the back of a 127-run opening stand between Bavuma (72) and Reeza Hendricks (69), South Africa beat Ireland by 49 runs to seal a 3-0 series clean sweep.
It was a welcome return to form for Bavuma, who had notched a top score of 13 from his five previous T20I innings.
Naming a new-look XI at the toss - Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Quinton de Kock, Janneman Malan and Rassie van der Dussen were all rotated – Bavuma elected to bat first and the decision proved a wise one as the Proteas posted a daunting total of 189/2.
In reply, Ireland were held to 140/9, with only two batters passing 20.
Simi Singh aside (1-27), South Africa’s batters scored against Ireland’s attack with ease.
Though it took Bavuma and Hendricks 45 deliveries to bring up their 50-run stand, the runs flowed quickly from there.
Hendricks raised his half-century off just 39 deliveries, hitting his fourth four to reach the landmark off Ben White (0/27) in the 14th over.
Just three balls later Bavuma reached his fifty off the 41st delivery he had faced.
The two batters had gone boundary for boundary to that point, hitting four fours and a six each.
By the time Singh had Hendricks caught behind in the 16th over he had hit a further three boundaries.
The dismissal brought the dangerous David Miller to the middle and the run-rate only went up from there, with he and Bavuma putting on a 32-run stand in just 2.3 overs before the latter perished to Barry McCarthy (1/40) in the 18th over.
An unbeaten 36 off 17 from Miller put the finishing touches on South Africa’s innings from there.
In reply, Ireland never looked likely to chase down the sizeable target.
Kevin O’Brien (2) fell in the second over to George Linde (2/21) and Paul Stirling (18) perished in the fifth to Lizaad Williams (2/30).
While Andy Balbirnie (27) and Lorcan Tucker (19) managed to stabilise the innings in a 33-run stand by the time Balbirnie fell in the 10th over Ireland were well and truly behind the required run-rate.
The Ireland captain fell in the 10th over, lbw to Linde, and in the next over Wiaan Mulder (2/10) accounted for both Tucker and Harry Tector (5).
Disciplined bowling saw South Africa home from there and they will be hoping to carry this form into the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in October-November.