Zimbabwe is hosting Ireland for a three-match ODI series, and five-match T20 series, with the first ODI match commencing on 1st Feb. In the 1st ODI, luck favoured the host nation as they won the toss and elected to bat first. The toss was very important because the match was rain influenced, and D/L method came into the frame later in the match.
The Ireland openers came onto the crease, but couldn’t give a proper start to the team, as both of them got run out by extraordinary fielding efforts of Zimbabwe. Ireland was 30/2 when they lost their openers. Next, the whole responsibility was on the Irish middle order, but they too failed to deliver and let the team down with a meager score of 46/4. The whole pressure was on the visiting team, but their lower middle order fought hard to bounce back and lead the team to a respectable score.
Kavanagh 79(133), Waldron 22(37) and Kenealy 20(46) were the highest run-getter of the match from the Irish side. The Team’s final score was 173/7 in 50 overs. Ireland’s only positive, was they played all 50 overs, but Zimbabwe’s bowling was at it’s best. Firstly they got early strikes, and in middle, even when they were unable to get wickets, they bowled economically and restricted the run-rate. P Marange was the most successful bowler as she bagged 2 wickets, while Tshuma and Nkomo bagged a single wicket each. The other three wickets were in the form of run outs.
For the 2nd innings, Zimbabwe openers came confidently onto the crease, as they had to score a very low total of 174. Both of them gave a steady start until Ndiraya got out on Kenealy ’s bowling. Captain Mugeri came in the middle after the fall of the wicket. Mugeri and Mupachikwa made almost a 130 runs partnership. The match was going easily for Zimbabwe until Ireland got two wickets in middle, but it was already too late; Zimbabwe had already reached 130/3 in 23 overs with the captain and Musonda on strike. Soon after the wickets falling, heavy rain started on the field, which caused play to be suspended for a while.
After some time the match started, but runs and overs both were reduced as per the D/L method. Now the new target for Zimbabwe was 140 in 34 overs. Already done with 130 runs, they quickly added 10 runs to their score and won the match by 7 wickets. Captain Mugeri was the highest run-getter from Zimbabwe side scoring 64*(81). From the bowling side, MacMahon bagged 2 wickets. The next ODI will be very important for Ireland as they would want to bounce back to remain alive in the series.
Thursday, Feb 01: 1st ODI
Saturday, Feb 03: 2nd ODI
Monday, Feb 05: 3rd ODI
Thursday, Feb 08: 1st T20
Saturday, Feb 10: 2nd T20
Sunday, Feb 11: 3rd T20
Tuesday, Feb 13: 4th T20
Wednesday, Feb 14: 5th T20
Scores: 1st ODI
Ireland: 173/7 (50 overs)
Zimbabwe: 140/3 (26/34ovrs, target 140) (D/L method)
Zimbabwe won the match by 7 wickets.
Zimbabwe leads the series 1-0.