The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE started off the One Day International cricket series against Ireland on a bright note when they won by 38 runs at the Civil Service Cricket Club Belfast, Northern Ireland on Wednesday (today).
The win saw Zimbabwe take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Crucially, the win came with 10 points as the three matches are part of the International Cricket Council’s Cricket World Cup Super League. It was Zimbabwe’s second win in the Super League following their triumph over Pakistan away in November last year.
Skipper Craig Ervine top scored for Zimbabwe with 64 runs from 96 balls coming in to bat at number three, Sikandar Raza was second best with an unbeaten 59 off 44 deliveries, which was good enough for him to win the Payer of the Match accolade while Brendan Taylor chipped in with a 45-ball 49, Zimbabwe ending their innings on 266/7 in 50 overs after they lost the toss and were asked to bat first.
The Zimbabwean bowlers, led by pace bowler Blessing Muzarabani fought hard to blow away Ireland for 228 in 48.4 overs. Muzarabani picked up four wickets to repel the Irish whose run chase was led by opener William Porterfield who notched up 75 off 110 deliveries while Harry Tector was second best with 50 runs.
Muzarabani ended with four wickets for 29 runs in 9.4 overs, with two of those overs being maidens. Left arm spinners, Wellington Masakadza and Sean Williams picked up two wickets apiece while Wessley Madhevere had one wicket together with Luke Jongwe.
The two teams clash in the second ODI at the same venue on Friday while the third and final match of the series is taking place next Monday. _Follow on Twitter @Mdawini_29