The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE women failed to carry on with their brilliant display from the first One Day International cricket contest against Ireland when the Irish won the second ODI by 80 runs at Harare Sports Club on Thursday.
Ireland’s win means the four-match series is now tied at 1-1 with two more matches left.
The Irish batted first and posted 286/7 in 50 overs after they had lost the toss and were asked to bat first, with their highest score coming from opener Leah Paul who made 95 off 118 balls to walk away with the Player of the Match award. The Zimbabweans, in their run chase could only manage 206/9 from the same number of overs, the best contribution with the bat for the home team coming from Josephine Nkomo who made 70 not out from 86 deliveries.
Ireland started off well after they were asked to bat first, with Paul and Gaby Lewis putting on a brilliant opening stand of 135 runs, which was broken in the 26th over when the latter fell for 65 runs, the second best score for the visitors.
The Zimbabwean bowlers found the going tough against the Irish batters, with one wicket each for Nkomo, Esther Mbofana, Precious Marange, Nomvelo Sibanda and Loreen Tshuma.
Zimbabwe did not get such a great start in their run chase with their opening stand broken in the 11th over when Modester Mupachikwa was run out for nine runs.
Skipper, Mary-Anne Musonda, who struck a century on her ODI appearance could not replicate that brilliant batting display when she fell for four runs.
While Nkomo batted well for her unbeaten half ton, Zimbabwe could not keep up with the required run rat and eventually fell short.
The next meeting between the two teams is on Saturday when they clash in the third ODI while the fourth and final encounter is on next Monday.
Both teams are using the four-match series to prepare for the International Cricket Council Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier to be held in Zimbabwe from the end of November.
More action is lined up for the Adam Chifo coached Zimbabwean women before they head into battle in the World Cup Qualifier when they take on Bangladesh in three ODIs in November.
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