After being put in to bat first by the hosts, Ireland openers shunt the early nerves, getting them off to a great start. Paul and Lewis took their time to settle in before taking the attack to Zimbabwe bowlers.
Both registered their respective maiden half-centuries, with Ireland cruising towards a big total. Together they added 135 runs in 25.4 overs. Josephine Nkomo broke the partnership, sending Lewis back to the dressing room for 65 runs from 74 balls.
Amy Hunter fell shortly after, but Paul kept the innings going with skipper Laura Delany. They added 67 runs for the third wicket before Delany got out to Loreen Tshuma. Paul fell five runs short of a magnificent century as she edged Precious Marange to the wicketkeeper.
Orla Prendergast's 27-ball 23 took Ireland to 286 for seven in 50 overs. Five bowlers took a wicket each for Zimbabwe, and two other dismissals were run outs.
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Chasing close to six runs per over, the hosts lost both the openers, Chiedza Dhururu and Modester Mupachikwa, early. Ashley Ndiraya tried to build a partnership with her captain Mary-Anne Musonda, but Cara Murray had other ideas.
After dismissing Dhururu cheaply, Murray ran through the Zimbabwe middle order, taking the wickets of Ndiraya and Musonda. Nkomo and Marange tried to keep the team in the chase, but Celeste Raack removed the latter for 14 runs from nine balls.
After seeing a couple of more wickets fall at the other end, Nkomo struck a partnership with Nomvelo Sibanda. The duo batted through for almost 15 overs, adding 69 runs for the ninth wicket.
Sibanda made 27 runs from 42 balls while Nkomo remained unbeaten till the end with an 86-ball 70. Zimbabwe finished with 206 for nine in 50 overs, falling short by 80 runs.
Brief Scores: Ireland 286/7 in 50 overs (Leah Paul 95; Josephine Nkomo 1/33) beat Zimbabwe 206/9 in 50 overs (Josephine Nkomo 70; Cara Murray 3/56) by 80 runs.