Parnell strikes as South Africa wrap up routine series win over Ireland

By Sports Desk August 05, 2022

Wayne Parnell starred with the ball as South Africa won by 44 runs to complete a 2-0 T20I series victory over Ireland.

Medium-pacer Parnell took 5-30 on Friday in Bristol, leading South Africa's bowling attack as they successfully defended a total of 182-6.

Opening batsman Reeza Hendricks led the way in the Proteas' innings, striking six boundaries as he mounted 42 before succumbing to Gareth Delany, who with figures of 2-24 was the pick of Ireland's bowlers.

Hendricks' stand came to an end in the 13th over, with Delany taking his second wicket two balls later when he dismissed Aiden Markram, who had plundered 27 from just 10 balls.

Yet Heinrich Klaasen (39) and captain David Miller (32 not out) steered South Africa to a strong total, setting the stage for their bowlers to do the rest.

Parnell was on a hat-trick in his first over when he dismissed Andy Balbirnie and Lorcan Tucker for ducks, but Harry Tector (34) provided some resistance before also falling to Parnell, who had just sent Curtis Campher packing.

Dwaine Pretorius (3-33) took quickfire wickets to further damage Ireland's hopes, and he wrapped up the win when Barry McCarthy picked out Markram at deep midwicket after Parnell had sealed his five-for by dismissing Andy McBrine.

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    Yet visiting captain Elgar is backing the tourists to maintain the momentum and bring England back down to earth.

    The opening batter said: "I don't play to lose. I absolutely despise losing. And if we play an average brand [of cricket], or we're not putting our best foot forward, and we don't have results going our way, then that affects me quite a bit.

    "This is a massive series for all of us. I think we've got 17 players and it's massive for all 17 of us to go out there, play a brand of cricket that appeals to South Africans and ultimately gives us the best chance of winning in England. We've seen it happen in the past before, so we know it can be done."

    Elgar says South Africa will not cross the line with the verbals, but expects words to be exchanged in the middle.

    "In the heat of battle, there's always something that comes out," he said. "Let's put it that way. I just want to play three really, really hard Test matches and go out there and put the badge on the line and throw a bit more respect into the badge."

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    The Premier League is officially 30 years old.

    On Saturday, August 15, 1992, the Premier League's inaugural season began with a packed schedule of 15:00 kick-offs.

    Its foundation came as a result of clubs in the old First Division breaking away from the Football League in order to maximise their earning potential, with much of that initially focused around the possibility of lucrative TV rights deals.

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    Managing expectations

    This is classic 'pub quiz' territory: which manager has presided over the most Premier League games?

    You know it's either Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger, don't you? You probably end up going for the Manchester United icon because of his sheer longevity.

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    Wenger took charge of 18 more Premier League games (828) than 'Fergie' before he brought his long Arsenal career to a close.

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    Play on, player

    Over the first 30 seasons of the Premier League, 4,488 players appeared in the competition at an average of 149.6 debutants per campaign.

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    Of the nearly 4,500 individuals to feature in the competition up to the start of the 2022-23 season, Gareth Barry sits clear with the most appearances (653), the last of which came during the 2017-18 season with West Brom.

    It's a record that will take some beating, but if anyone's got a chance of toppling him, it's his former Manchester City team-mate James Milner.

    The 36-year-old, now of Liverpool, is fourth on the all-time list with 589 outings.

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    Mark Platts was the first 16-year-old to ever play in the Premier League when he made his Sheffield Wednesday debut in February 1996.

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    The name of the game

    Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah, Wayne Rooney – when you think of Premier League goalscorers, these are probably the names that immediately spring to mind.

    Well, you're wrong. You should be thinking about Andrew Johnson, Glen Johnson, Tommy Johnson, Bradley Johnson, Roger Johnson et al.

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    Synonymous.

    Get to the points

    It's been a frustrating few (nine?) years for Man United fans, and this season has started in horrific fashion. But don't worry, folks, if you just look at the big (massive) picture, it'll definitely all feel much better.

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    Manchester City may have won four of the past five league titles, a feat only United had achieved before them in the Premier League, but the real story is that they're way back on 1,635 Premier League points.

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    To be fair, almost every single one of you knows what's coming here.

    You guessed it, Norwich City's relegation from the last season makes them the yo-yoingest (yes, we've just made that up) club in Premier League history.

    That was their sixth relegation to go with their five promotions to the top flight since 1992, taking them one clear of West Brom, who have the same number of ascensions but only five demotions to their name.

    I love goals, goals, goals, goals

    Of course, Shearer remains the Premier's League all-time leading scorer with 260, 52 more than Wayne Rooney in second.

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    As for high-scoring matches, there have been three Premier League games that have finished with a nine-goal margin – two were achieved by Man Utd (9-0 v Southampton in February 2021, and v Ipswich Town in March 1995) and Leicester City managed it in October 2019, also crushing Saints 9-0.

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    Your team's trailing 2-0, you're despondent and bereft of hope. But then, out of nowhere, you've got a goal back. Then the equaliser. And then, just when you'd convinced yourself "this draw feels like a win", a third goes in, and it's pandemonium.

    There are few more satisfying situations in football than when you team produces such a turnaround – the despair you were feeling earlier only makes your full-time jubilation that bit more intense.

    The biggest such turnarounds that led to wins all involved teams coming back from three goals down. Leeds United, Wimbledon and Wolves have all managed it in 4-3 victories, while Man United beat Spurs 5-3 from 3-0 down.

    No team have done so since Wolves in October 2003, although Newcastle United certainly deserve a special mention – they are the only team to find themselves 4-0 down and avoid defeat. Their 4-4 draw with Arsenal in February 2011 remains a Premier League classic.

    Stop the clock!

    Here's another for the pub quiz enthusiasts: who scored the quickest goal in Premier League history?

    Netting just 7.69 seconds into an April 2019 game between Southampton and Watford, Shane Long opened the scoring to break a 19-year record that had been set by Spurs defender Ledley King.

    To put that into context, it'd take you longer to read that sentence. It was also quicker than Usain Bolt's world-record time in the 100 metres (9.58 seconds).

    The latest goal ever is maybe a less notable record, but it nonetheless belongs to Bruno Fernandes, who in September 2020 scored a penalty after 99 minutes and 45 seconds to seal United a dramatic 3-2 win over Brighton and Hove Albion – yes, that's the game when the Seagulls hit the woodwork a record five times.

    As for the quickest hat-trick, that was scored by Sadio Mane for Southampton against Aston Villa in May 2015, with his first and third goals separated by just two minutes and 56 seconds.

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