The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
AFTER a fine start to the One Day International cricket series against Ireland, which saw Zimbabwe win the opening encounter by 38 runs on Wednesday, the visitors will look to seal the series when the second ODI takes place at the Civil Service Cricket Club in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Friday (today).
Zimbabwe put up a solid show on Wednesday, as they posted 266/7 in 50 overs after being asked to bat first before they bowled out the home team for 228 in 48.4 overs.
The senior players came to the party with the bat for the tourists as captain Craig Ervine top scored with 64, Sikandar Raza was second best with 59, which saw him pass 3 000 runs in ODIs while Brendan Taylor contributed 49 at the top of the order. Sean Williams also played his part with bat and ball, the left hander scoring 33 runs prior to picking up 2/42.
Pace bowler Blessing Muzarabani led Zimbabwe’s bowling attack with aplomb as he picked up four wickets for 29 runs in 9.4 overs, two of those overs being maidens while left arm spinner, Wellington Masakadza also had decent figures of 2/40.
It was Zimbabwe’s second win in the International Cricket Council Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, with the first victory having come against Pakistan away in November last year. The victory over Pakistan came in the Super Over, after the match had ended in a tie.
Zimbabwe find themselves bottom of the 13-team log with just 20 points, the same as Netherlands above them. A win today will see Zimbabwe rise to number 12 and a 3-0 success against Ireland can see them go up high as seventh.
Wednesday’s win was just the beginning as hard work still has to be done against an Irish team whose wins have come against England and South Africa. Automatic qualification to the 2023 Cricket World Cup is at stake, which means Zimbabwe must go all out in the remaining two ODIs against Ireland.
Follow on Twitter @Mdawini_29