The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE failed to give the retiring Brendan Taylor a befitting sendoff when they produced an atrocious batting display to lose by seven wickets to Ireland through the Duckworth-Lewis method in the rain affected third and final One Day International cricket encounter played at the Civil Service Cricket Club in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Monday.
The result saw the three-match series conclude 1-1 after Zimbabwe won the first ODI by 38 runs before the second ODI produced a no result. With start of play delayed because of rain, the match was initially reduced to 42 overs before it was further cut down to a 38-over affair prior to Ireland being required to chase down their target in 32 overs.
Crucially , Ireland claimed 10 points, which saw them take their points tally in the International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup Super League to 50.
On Sunday, Taylor used social media to announce that he was retiring from international cricket to bring an end to a career that spanned 17 years since he made his debut as an 18-year-old in April 2004.
Taylor fell for seven runs in his final innings for his country when he was bowled by Joshua Little. Skipper Craig Ervine top scored for Zimbabwe with 57, with the tourists all out for 131 runs in 34 overs. So pitiable was Zimbabwe’s display with the bat that the best score after Ervine’s effort was 16 from Wessley Madhevere.
Ireland, whose target was revised to 118 in 32 overs lost three wickets on their way to winning the match with 58 balls remaining. Paul Stirling was Ireland’s top run scorer with 43 while skipper Andrew Balbirnie contributed 34 as the Irish made 118/3 in 22.2 overs.
Next up for Zimbabwe is a three-match Twenty20 International series against Scotland whose matches are lined up for Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe made it four wins in a row at the International Cricket Council Women’s Twenty20 World Cup Africa Qualifier when they trounced Mozambique by 171 runs in a match played at the Botswana Cricket Association Oval in Gaborone on Monday.
The win saw Zimbabwe cement their place on top of the group with eight points as they look set to make it to Friday’s semifinals.
Stand in captain Josephine Nkomo top scored with 56 runs coming in to bat at number four, an effort good enough to earn her the Player of the Match award as Zimbabwe posted 205/3 in their 20 overs.
Zimbabwe proved once again how strong their bowling attack is when they wiped out their opponents for 34 runs in 14.1 overs.
Precious Marange finished with four wickets for eight runs, Loreen Tshuma took 3/6 while Loryn Phiri had two wickets for just two runs in 1.1 overs to take her tournament tally to 14 wickets.
Next up for Zimbabwe is a clash with Rwanda on Thursday, with the semifinals to be played on Friday and the final on Sunday.
Follow on Twitter @Mdawini_29