The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
LEFT arm pace bowler, Richard Ngarava was the hero for Zimbabwe when they recorded a sensational victory by three runs over Ireland in the first Twenty20 International cricket match played at Clontarf Cricket Club, in Dublin today (Friday).
Ireland needed six runs from the same number of balls in the last over bowled by Ngarava. The left arm seamer only gave away two runs to hand Zimbabwe an astonishing victory.
Earlier on, Man of the Match Regis Chakabva top scored with 47 off 28 deliveries, with the next best score being 19 not out down the order from Wellington Masakadza. Craig Young and Simi Singh had two wickets each.
Singh top scored for Ireland with 28 at number eight after Kevin O’Brien scored 25 and fellow opener Paul Stirling contributed 24.
Ireland appeared to be on their way to victory when they went into the last over on 112/7. Ngarava bowled brilliantly to remove Barry McCarthy and Young was run out next delivery. Singh could only manage one run off the final delivery and Zimbabwe started off the tour on a bright note.
Leg spinner Ryan Burl bowled beautifully to pick up three wickets for 22 runs, pace bowler Luke Jongwe had 2/17, left arm spinner Masakadza got 2/18 while Ngarava took 1/17.
The two teams clash in the second contest of the five-match series on Sunday.
Meanwhile, it was a good day for Zimbabwean cricket as the women’s team defeated Thailand by one wicket in the first T20I at Takashinga Cricket Club in Harare on Friday. Thailand posted 104/4 in 20 overs and Zimbabwe scored 107/9 in 19.3 overs to win the match with three balls to spare.
On Sunday the two teams collide again in the second match of the series, with the final fixture set for the next day.