Bavuma marks ODI debut with century as Proteas crush Ireland
Temba Bavuma marked his one-day international debut for South Africa with a century in a commanding 206-run victory over Ireland at Willowmoore Park.
An impressive knock from Bavuma, who has made 11 Test appearances for the Proteas, saw him plunder 113 runs from 123 balls - the sixth-highest score by an ODI debutant.
Bavuma opened alongside Quinton de Kock (83) and the pair laid the foundation for a comfortable win with a 159-run partnership.
JP Duminy (52) and Farhaan Behardien (50) chipped in with half-centuries, the latter made off just 21 balls, as South Africa ended their innings at 354-5, with Duminy taking figures of 4-16 from 4.5 overs as Ireland fell well short of the imposing total.
It could have been quite a different story, however, as a chance to dismiss Bavuma in the second over was squandered when Kevin O'Brien failed to adjust in time to take in an edge off Peter Chase (0-86) at second slip.
De Kock quickly set about changing the tone, lashing a short ball from Craig Young (3-81) over the long-leg boundary for a maximum and then plundering a trio of fours from his next over.
Bavuma took confidence from his team-mate's brilliance and started to rack up the runs, scooping Chase over the ropes in the 10th over.
De Kock brought up his fifty with a pull through deep square-leg, but, after John Anderson spilled him over the boundary on 65, he was finally removed by O'Brien (2-66) when an inside edge hit leg stump.
Bavuma was unperturbed and brought up his hundred with his 13th boundary of the match, but his outstanding knock would soon be over.
After Young dismissed Faf du Plessis (21), he added the scalp of Bavuma who lofted a shot to Stuart Poynter at cover.
David Miller could only manage 14 but Duminy and Berhardien closed strongly, the latter dismissed with the final delivery after a searing knock that included three fours and as many maximums.
Ireland's chase hit an immediate set-back with William Porterfield trapped leg before by Kagiso Rabada (1-22) second ball.
Paul Stirling (40) received competent support from O'Brien (41), but was stopped when Aaron Phangiso (2-33) struck first ball, and from there Ireland lost momentum, their final four wickets falling for just 26 runs.
Duminy, who ensured O'Brien failed to reach a half-century, removed Young and Chase off successive deliveries for nought in the 31st over after Phangiso accounted for George Dockrell (16).
The victory will supply South Africa with a huge boost of confidence ahead of their upcoming series against Australia, which starts on Friday.