The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE have lost the five-match Twenty20 International cricket series to Ireland after the Irish won the fourth contest by 64 runs on Thursday (today) at Bready Cricket Club in Londonderry.
The result saw Ireland take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series ahead of the fifth and final match to be played at the same venue on Saturday.
Ireland posted 174/4 in 20 overs after they lost the toss and were sent in to bat while Zimbabwe could only manage 110/9 in 20 overs in their response.
Opening batsman, Kevin O’Brien top scored for Ireland with 47 off 39 deliveries while his partner at the top of the order Paul Stirling was second best with 39 from 33 deliveries. Another notable contribution with the bat for the Irish came from captain Andrew Balbirnie who chipped in with 36 at number three.
O’Brien and Stirling gave Ireland a flying start as they put on an opening stand of 89 runs, with their partnership brought to an end by left arm spinner Wellington Masakadza who had the former caught by Milton Shumba.
On a day when the Zimbabwean bowlers struggled, Masakadza had good figures of two for 22 runs in four overs while there was one wicket each for seamers, Richard Ngarava and Luke Jongwe.
Zimbabwe’s run got off to a terrible start when Tadiwanashe Marumani fell in the second over when he was caught and bowled by Mark Adair for four runs.
Skipper Craig Ervine top scored for Zimbabwe with 28 runs while Jongwe was unbeaten on 24 but Zimbabwe were soundly beaten.
Man of the match Adair had four wickets for 23 runs in four overs, Shane Getkate took 2/19 while there was one wicket each for Craig Young, Barry McCarthy and Simi Singh. [email protected]_29