IRELAND suffered last ball heartbreak as they lost to South Africa in the opening T20 International at Claremont Road.
South African skipper Dinesha Devnarain managed to get the three runs required to spark scenes of wild celebration in the South African camp, while in complete contrast the Irish were totally dejected.
It was a game Ireland looked to have been in control of for the most part as they batted positively to score 140 for 4. Former skipper Isobel Joyce top scored with an unbeaten 31, sharing an unbroken fifth wicket stand of 61 in 48 balls with vice-captain Kim Garth (30*).
Clare Shillington (30) and Shauna Kavanagh (20) were also among the runs as they shared a second wicket stand of 46 in 36 balls in an entertaining batting display.
Ireland kept the South African run chase in check pushing the required rate into double figures going into the final stages.
Mignon Du Preez kept the tourists in the hunt with a punchy half century, but her dismissal handed the initiative back to the Irish as 28 were needed from the last 15 balls.
However, South African's lower order got them over the line in a thrilling encounter. The Irish will reflect on a litany of missed opportunities - albeit in difficult conditions - having to deal with a wet ball in the blustery conditions.
- Captains Laura Delany and Dinesha Devnarain, with umpires Paul Reynolds and Azam Ali Baig
- The toss, won by South Africa who decided to bowl first
- Moseline Daniels opened the bowling and took 1 for 18 off her 4 overs
- Gaby Lewis scored 12 off 13 balls, including two 4s
- Masobata Klaas went for 35 off her 4 overs
- Gaby Lewis is bowled by Daniels
- Shauna Kavanagh scored 20 off 21 balls, including two 4s
- Sune Luus took 2 for 24 in her 4 overs
- Clare Shillington scored 30 off 31 balls, after an unusually slow start for her
- Marcia Letsoalo's 4 overs cost 29
- South African celebrations after Kavanagh is out
- South African wicketkeeper Trisha Chetty
- Shilington top edges
- It goes up for miles, and Shillington is out. Her 30 included two 4s and one 6
- An attempted diving stop by Mignon du Preez
- The Irish 100 comes up in the 16th over
- Ayabonga Khaka took 1 for 27 off her 4 overs
- Kim Garth scored 30 off 26 balls, including two 4s
- Isobel Joyce hit 31 off 24 balls, including three 4s and one 6
- The Ireland innings finishes on 140
- Amy Kenealy's 3 overs cost 22 runs
- Lucy O'Reilly took 1 for 25 in her 4 overs
- Trisha Chetty scored 7 off 16 balls
- Chetty edging O'Reilly
- Keeper Mary Waldron completes the catch
- Hugs for bowler Lucy O'Reilly
- Kim Garth took 2 for 30 off her 4 overs
- The ball takes a deflection off the stumps, resulting in overthrows
- New cap Laura Wolvaardt scored 24 off 26 balls, including four 4s
- Isobel Joyce's 2 overs cost 9 runs, with 1 wicket
- Ciara Metcalfe's 4 overs cost 21
- Sune Luus scored 7 off 11 balls
- Former captain Mignon du Preez hit 55 off 41 balls, including six 4s
- Gaby Lewis' 3 overs went for 30
- Chloe Tryon hit a run a ball 9
- Tryon is bowled by Kim Garth
- Mignon du Preez 50 comes up
- DU Preez goes for 55
- South African captain Dinesha Devnarain scored 21 off just 11 balls, including two 4s
- Greasy conditions as Devnarain's bat goes flying
- Dinesha Devnarain hits the winning runs, breaking Irish hearts