Cape Town - Wayne Parnell delivered the final piece of the Proteas T20 jigsaw puzzle on Friday evening to seal a 2-0 series win over Ireland in Bristol.
The Proteas have been debating over the seam-bowling all-rounder in their starting XI for some time now with Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo and Parnell auditioning for the role.
But the latter provided a brilliant spell of 5/30 that should now put him ahead in the queue for a spot in the T20 World Cup squad to be picked later this year.
Parnell’s heroics helped skittle Ireland for 138 in 18.5 overs, who were in pursuit of South Africa’s 182/6.
The former Kolpak begun in superb fashion by claiming two wickets in his first over before returning to claim the big wicket of Harry Tector (34). Parnell was not finished yet as he picked up a further two scalps to finish with career-best figures.
Pretorius, though, ensured he remains firmly part of the conversation going forward with figures of 3/33 to go along with 7-ball 17 earlier in the evening.
The Proteas’ batting unit were not as well-oiled as they have previously been on this tour of the United Kingdom, as they only managed 52/2 in the first 10 overs.
🚨 RESULT | SOUTH AFRICA WIN BY 44 RUNS— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) August 5, 2022
Wayne Parnell (5/30) produced career-best figures as he spearheaded the #Proteas bowling attack to dismiss Ireland for 138 with 7 balls remaining and claim the series 2-0#IREvSA #BePartOfIt pic.twitter.com/TxpMdLtRhB
Reeza Hendricks was, though, once again the chief contributor with 42, although the stylish right-hander just missed out on becoming the first batter in the history of T20I cricket to score five successive half-centuries.
The late flurry in the final 10 overs, which yielded a mammoth 130 runs, was due to Aiden Markram (27 off 10 balls), Heinrich Klaasen (39 off 16 balls) and stand-in captain David Miller (32 not out off 20 balls) striking the ball sweetly at the back end of the innings.
The Proteas have now won five out of their last six T20I series and are shaping up to be real contenders at the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
South Africa: 182/6 (Hendricks 42, Klaasen 39, Delaney 2/24)
Ireland: 138 all out (Tector 34, Parnell 5/30, Pretorius 3/30)
South Africa won by 44 runs, win the series 2-0.