Ireland 294 for 7 (Doheny 84, Tector 75, Chatara 3-51, Evans 2-66) beat Zimbabwe 248 (Ballance 52, Kaia 51, Burl 41, Little 4-38) by 46 runs
Ireland were asked to bat first, and they kickstarted their innings with a century stand between openers Paul Stirling and Doheny. That set the tone for a rigid batting performance. Tector walked in in the 27th over, and even though Doheny fell soon after, he rallied on to crunch seven fours and a six in his 61-ball innings at a strike rate of 122.95. Tendai Chatara’s three wickets in the slog overs ensured Ireland did not have the momentum to cross 300, finishing on 294 for 7 in 50 overs.
Left-arm swing bowler Little then struck early in the chase, removing Tadiwanashe Marumani for a duck, but the 89-run second-wicket partnership between Kaia and Chibhabha resurrected the hosts’ innings. However, both fell in the space of 19 balls to allow Ireland to begin their comeback. Mark Adair then removed Sikandar Raza for 25 to dent the hosts further.
But Burl and Ballance looked to take Zimbabwe over the line with a half-century partnership for the fifth wicket.The stand, however, ended on 67 just when it looked like the game’s balance would tilt in the hosts’ favour. Burl was run-out in the 41st over, after which Little struck two more times to finish with 4 for 38.
Even though Ballance notched up his maiden ODI fifty for Zimbabwe – which included only two fours – the loss of wickets at the other end meant it was too much for him to do. Ballance fell for 52 in the 47th over, the second scalp for Graham Hume on the day, and with only Nos. 10 and 11 left, the equation of 53 in 21 balls was nigh impossible. Eventually, the visitors closed out the game to take the series to the final day on Monday in a winner-takes-all contest.
(With Inputs from ESPN)
#Doheny #Tector #Ireland #level #series